Here is today’s Gospel, from St Mark: ‘Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”’

St Ambrose of Milan once declared, in treatise: ‘Every sabbath we witness the “opening up” of a mystery. It is in outline form the type of that liturgical opening when the minister once touched your ears and nostrils. What does this mean? Remember in the Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ, when the deaf and dumb man was presented to him, touched his ears and his mouth: the ears, because he was deaf; the mouth, because he was dumb. And he said: “Ephphatha,” a Hebrew word, which in Latin means adaperire [be opened]’.

Today, may our ears be opened to take in the ‘wholesome medicine of the Gospel’, and proclaim it in our words and deeds. May God bless you and be very close to you this day.