23rd Sunday OT-B
September 6, 2015


Many, many years ago, as a young first-time traveler, I was introduced to the fad of “whole wheat bread.” For the life of me, I didn’t know the difference between what we youngsters back home called “bread” and “whole wheat” bread. But since I was healthier than a mule then, neither did I care if there was, indeed, a difference.

Now, I think I know better. At the very least, I know that being broken is not exactly being whole, and that being whole is being healthy, and being healthy means every part of you is working in tiptop condition.

I am sure you all have experiences of being in fear or overcome with anxiety. Being fearful could make one do either of two things: run furiously away or being paralyzed to inaction. One does not feel whole. One does not feel “sane” – and I use the word in the Latin sense, meaning in a state of well-being.

I am sure, too, that you have experienced being a little biased against certain individuals or groups of people. I grew up hating “Vietcongs” even if I didn’t know who they were. I heard about them on radio, growing up as a child. I thought they were monsters ready to pounce on innocent people. They sounded to me like they were cruel people out to rob everyone of their freedom.

I wasn’t sane. I wasn’t whole. Some part of me nurtured hatred against the unknown – a group of people who were demonized by mainstream media then.

I am a man of little patience. I am almost sure that when I get even older than I am now, if God lends me a little more time, I will most likely suffer from difficulty of hearing. And yet, I must confess, I have little patience for people who make me repeat what I say two or three times.

Even if I am not, by any means, deaf yet, I am not sane. I am not whole. No one who is unable to tolerate others in their disability cannot be totally whole, or at least, trying to be holy, though long-suffering patience and tolerance.

I look up to the Lord today begging for his mercy and compassion. He shows Himself today precisely as one who can heal me … as one who can make me whole … as the only one who merits to be called the healer par excellence.

I would like to share to my readers that I lay claim today to his Divine utterance: “Ephphatha!” “Be opened!”

Open me up, Lord, to total healing. Break me open to tolerance and patience. For while I still am impatient to those who cannot fully hear me, I, too am in more need of healing than they are.

I am deaf. I am mute. I pretend so often not to hear the cries of the suffering and the lonely and the weary. I do not use my talents and powers to do my part and proclaim the saving truths about you, O Saving and healing Lord!

Open my ears, Lord, that I may hear. Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see. Open my mouth Lord, that I may proclaim what needs to be proclaimed: “Praise the Lord, my soul!”