Nothing so Deep

JMJ

The Readings for the 5th Friday of Ordinary Time (B2)

Et suscipiens in caelum, ingemuit, et ait illi : Ephphetha, quod est, Adaperire. Et statim apertae sunt aures ejus, et solutum est vinculum linguae ejus, et loquebatur recte.

And looking up to heaven, he groaned, and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened. And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. 


Corrie Ten Boom said of God, there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. She was speaking of Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. How one can come to that conclusion in a concentration camp… is proof of Faith.

Physical darkness (blindness) is a thing that comes up in the New Testament, but Jesus’ healing stories are also (as Bishop Barron points out) spiritual stories, stories that can apply to you and me in our day to day world. Today’s Gospel is no different. We each live in a darkness, imprinted on our minds. But, the Psalm says, “Even darkness is not dark to you.”  
Think of Helen Keller, alone in a world with no light or sound…

This healing is so much more than just “Zap! Here’s your talking and hearing back.” Ephaphtha says Jesus not just may your mouth and ears be open… But rather, May your very being be open to the imprint of the Logos of God. Do you see now? 


He was speaking plainly.


How awesome is our God! Modern medicine, indeed no medicine we have imagined can do this. What is there that God cannot restore to its rightful telos, its lawful use, its natural end?


Et loquebatur recte…Do you know what this healing means? Think how awesome is our God. Look: a mute man has never formed words. His tongue and his muscles are not used to making vowels and consonants. Now… This mute man is deaf. He’s never heard words. His very mind is not even used to the concept. Words? People use words? 

There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.


We do try though, to dig deeper pits every day. In a class on Ignatian spirituality and the 12 Steps, I was challenged to offer my emptiness to God. What thing in me has had me asking for healing but still, I hold on to it. In my case it is fear. Offer your fear to God. What? This is the most broken of things: I want to be cured of it. Really: Offer it to God. Stop digging this pit for yourself because you’ll never get out. Offer it to God. (Corrie also said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. 
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Again, remember: she’s been through Hitler. I get nervous when someone emails me about a spelling mistake.)

The writer of I Kings (or III Kings, depending on how you count) is saying Recessitque Israel a domo David, usque in praesentem diem. And Israel revolted from the house of David, unto this day.  Israel and all of the rest of us, Sister. Except for you, Sister. You’re right with God.


I’m not though. And God in his grace is constantly taking away 10 parts of our kingdom so that we can once again focus on him. God in his mercy knows what we can’t handle – even if we think we can. 


There is no pit so deep – even the ones we dig for ourselves – that He is not deeper still. If I offer even my empty fears to God, my empty ears, my empty lips, my empty mind… Can God bring them to Telos?


Ephaphtha!

Author: Huw Richardson

I'm no Benedictine, but I'm too old for the Franciscans. I'm in the process of moving servers... so trying to keep both of my "linked sites" in sync until there's only one. There can be only one. Huw Richardson was born in Atlanta under a different name about 55 years ago. I never knew my father nor any of his kin. I’ve lived all over: I was never in the same house for 3 Christmases until I was over 40. I’ve not yet made it to 4. Rootlessness seems to be a way of life and every time I think I’m about to root, it ends up not happening. Yet I’ve made some amazing friends online. I’ve met some awesome people all over the world. I’ve met religious leaders and heads of state and famous movie stars. I’ve also managed to be debt-free. I’ve stood on the Hill of Tara and touched the Lia Fail. It did not cry out. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone as well, if you can’t guess. I have illicitly touched ancient, holy statues to see if anything would happen and I have never used flash photography when I should not have. I’ve been a bookseller, a call center drone, a trainer, a convert, a preacher, a monk, a planter, a secretary, a writer, and an activist. My patron is Blessed Stanley Rother. When I’m in trouble, he’s got my back. He prays for me, along with St Rose of Lima, St. Catherine of Siena, St John Henry Newman, Bl Fulton J Sheen, and Bl. William Richardson. I’m a Dominican Tertiary and a member of Courage International. This is home: I’ve found my roots by using my wings. What’s next? I don’t know. Part of me wants to just pick out a camper and gig my way around the world. Part of me wants to own a pub in Ireland and feed my soul with good music until forever. Part of me has always taught. Some part of me dances whenever the moon is full. Another part of me kneels in awe in the darkness as all the stars spin but the cross stands still.