They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Today Jesus also says to the Church, “Ephphatha, Be opened.”
Jesus wants us to be a Church that is liberated from deafness and dumbness. A Church that listens and is attentive to his words, that understands that love, truth, and the justice of the Kingdom are essential in the life of faith. If we do not listen attentively to the words of Jesus, we will not put words of hope in the lives of those who suffer.
What is needed and expected in our nation is for the Church to be more and more prophetic. For that, it must listen to Jesus in the silence of meditating on the Gospel and the events of history. Our country expects from us Christians a word that is clear-sighted, courageous, enlightening, and inspired by the Gospel of Jesus. More than ever, our nation needs a Church that is sensitive to the suffering of people, and that instinctively knows how to defend their dignity.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua