Grace to you!
Prophetic ministry is the ministry of the Word. The prophet is the one who proclaims God's word. For the prophet to proclaim the Word, the person has to hear the Word also. As Saints Peter and John declared before the rulers and teachers of the law in Jerusalem, "we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).
When someone bares bold witness to the Lord, it is probably because the person has heard and seen and can speak. The audacity of faith life is well and alive in the person who has listened to and embraced God's word.
One of the moving moments during the ordination of deacons, in our Catholic tradition, is right after their anointing. The bishop places the Book of the Gospel in the hands of the newly ordained. He says as he does so: "Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach."
Believing (faith) comes from hearing (Rm 10:17). It's vital to hear. It's critical to read God's Word in Scripture, too. St. Jerome was on the mark when he said, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."
Consider a situation where one cannot hear? By that, I mean a situation where God's word isn't communicated and received. It must be a challenge to speak also because one does not confidently talk of what one does not know.
In the Gospel of Mark 7:31-37, the Lord goes to the region of the ten cities (Decapolis). The people brought him a deaf man who had speech impediments. The gesture of the people was an example of a good support system from the community. They saw a need and were able to accompany the needy to find help in the Lord.
Scripture gives a clear picture of the Lord's action to heal. 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" (Mk 7:31-37).
The Lord's action reminds me of God's creative work in the second account of creation in Genesis 2:7. There God breathed on the man created from dust, and he became a living being.
Through this miracle of the healing of the deaf and dumb, the Lord reveals the connection between him and the Father. The Lord Jesus does all things well, including doing miracles of healing and numerous nature miracles. He does so in your life too if you believe. The Lord also heals the deafness of unbelief. He grants us the favor of his holy touch and breath, that is, grace (his life), so we can see, hear, and then speak.
I pray we are healed from all sorts of unbelief and doubt that make it impossible to see, hear, and speak of the Lord's goodness. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 5 A: 1 Kgs 11:29-32; 12:19; Mk 7:31-37]
Photo source: Cathopic.com.
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.