In his September 6 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, the healing of the deaf and mute man (Mk. 7:31-37).
“The lesson we can take from this episode is that God is not closed in on himself, but instead he opens himself and places himself in communication with humanity,” he said. “In his immense mercy, he overcomes the abyss of the infinite difference between him and us, and comes to meet us. To bring about this communication with man, God becomes man.”
At the origin of our Christian life, in baptism, precisely that gesture and that word of Jesus are present: “Ephphatha!” “Be opened!” And the miracle has been worked. We have been healed of the deafness of egotism and the muteness of being closed in on ourselves, and of sin, and we have been inserted into the great family of the Church. We can hear God who speaks to us and communicates his Word to those who have never before heard it, or to the one who has forgotten it and buried it under the thorns of the anxieties and the traps of the world.