Creating space involves clearing, uncluttering what I want or what I think I “should” focus today, and allowing what God wants to unfold, to flow through my consciousness. It involves a shift in focus … from “my” concerns and preoccupations to the 1-2 things that God desires to share with me today. A shift happened within me this morning. The Loyola House Chapel is very spacious which helped my spirit “make space;” I listened to the birds sing, almost in surround sound since there were several of them. I was honest with the Lord in prayer and said, “Ok, that’s what I wanted … what do you want me to focus on today, Lord?” I ended up helping a frustrated brother Jesuit fix his computer; it made his day … and mine. And Jesus smiled. Less clutter … more space for God to do what God does best: love us into new life!
The deaf-mute man in today’s Gospel did not ask to be cured. He did not seek healing or change. He was probably focused on begging to survive. He did not expect to be touched by God or to have his life changed. His friends did him a huge favor: they begged Jesus to cure him. How interesting that Jesus cured his hearing first and subsequently his speech. I feel like that man. For much of my life, my speech impediment has been (and still is) stuttering. But as I learned to listen to the Lord more and more (i.e. create space), not only do I stammer less, I am finding my voice. Like the birds this morning that sing in praise of God, I am learning to “be opened - Ephphatha” and to speak more clearly in giving Greater Glory to God.
The deaf-mute man had friends who did him a huge favor! They took him to Jesus and “begged him to lay his hands on him” (Mk 7:32). I’m learning to do the same, lifting up by name the 964 people on my prayer scroll to the Lord. I’m learning to create space … somehow God surprises me with so many graces through many of those whom I pray for by name.
Loyola House of Studies Oratory (Chapel) and Outer Hallway