Dearly Beloved,Grace and Peace to you.
A woman, a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin, begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” … 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 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.”
—Mark 7. 26-34
Perhaps Jesus knew all along where he was going with the woman. But maybe when the Galilean rabbi met the foreign woman, and his enculturated bias that Gentiles were inferior to Jews was met by her feisty insistence that she and her daughter were worthy of God’s grace—maybe she opened his eyes.
Later Jesus healed a deaf man, touching his ears and crying out, “Be opened!”
Maybe wisdom is not having it all figured out, but being open to God. In wisdom we never finish paying attention, never close our minds. We continually become more open to new awareness and perspectives, by what Paul calls “the transformation of our minds.” In wisdom we become more open to wonder, attentive to the Spirit, and receptive to God. We become more sensitive, enlarging the territory of our care, and welcoming others into our compassion with open arms. We become more transparent to God’s grace. Wisdom is allowing ourselves to be changed.
Jesus continually opened himself and expanded his compassion, until there was room in his heart for everybody. He opened up all his treasures and poured himself out. He was open even to all of our suffering and sin, opening all the way into the great emptiness of death itself. And even in the leaden closure of death, shut in by the tomb, God touched his grave and sighed and said, “Be opened!”
God touches you, and says, “Be opened!” The Spirit unfolds within you. Let her open up your life. Let God heal the ways in which you are closed off to the world, closed off from God. Let God enlarge your heart, opening to God, opening to the world, opening to heaven. Surrender to God’s great opening in you. Let your prayer be continually, “Open me. Open me. Open me.”
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