Last 2013, I was afflicted with dengue fever that almost took my life. I needed to undergo blood transfusion since my platelet count was at an alarming level. I was very weak. I started to feel desolation. I was becoming hopeless until a positive change happened. Regaining my strength, appetite, and cheerfulness, I expressed my gratitude to the Lord. It was indeed the mercy of God to have another chance to live.
The focus of today’s Gospel is Jesus’ healing of a deaf man. Ephphata! Be opened! – after Jesus uttered this word, the deaf man’s ears were opened, and he began to hear. It is a good image that Jesus heals our deafness—our inability to listen to the calling of our Lord. As we celebrate the World Day of the Sick and opt to commemorate Our Lady of Lourdes, this day calls us to humility, conversion, and obedience.
Like others, admitting my faults and weaknesses is very hard. I thought that this was a degradation of my value as a person. There is a denial that nothing can be done about our sickness. There is a time to feel hopeless. However, we should immediately recognize that this is the time when God begins to pour out His graces on us. Seeing our weaknesses as a hindrance to our progress is like hindering Jesus from touching our hearts and healing us. It is only through acceptance that we can see the light in our dark times.
As a priest-in-process, I should not be afraid to show my weaknesses and accept my sickness. God reveals His strength through my weaknesses. In the seminary, there is a constant healing and opening of myself in the process of purifying my intention. I am getting to know God and myself better by committing my entire being to the formation.
By: Sem. Bryan S. Valenzuela
Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”