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Friday, February 14, 2003

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Sts. Cyril & Methodius
St. Valentine

Genesis 3:1-8
Psalm 32
Mark 7:31-37

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open arms?

Jesus "said to him, '<i>Ephphatha!</i>' (that is, 'Be opened!')" —Mark 7:34

When Adam and Eve sinned, they were expelled from Paradise, and the door to Paradise was closed (Gn 3:23-24). Human beings then began to be closed off to God and to one another (see Gn 3:8ff). After the first sin, death entered the world and closed us off from the happiness of everlasting life. During the centuries following the first sin, more and more lives were closed down by sin's escalating effects, such as war, sickness, starvation, racism, and violence.

Then God became Man and walked into a closed world to open it completely to God. Jesus "looked up to heaven and emitted a groan. He said to" a deaf man: " 'Ephphatha!' (that is, 'Be opened!')" (Mk 7:34) This is an example of what Jesus did throughout His public ministry. He eventually emitted the ultimate groan on the cross and opened the whole world to salvation (see Mt 27:50-53).

Jesus is knocking at the door (Rv 3:20). If you open up to Him, He will open you to eternal life and love. "Open wide the doors to Jesus!" (Pope John Paul II's Great Jubilee message)

Prayer:  Father, I repent of being closed to Your will. I open wide my Heart (see 2 Cor 6:11).

Promise:  "Their amazement went beyond all bounds: 'He has done everything well! He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!' " —Mk 7:37

Praise:  Sts. Cyril and Methodius opened up several nationalities to the good news with their missionary zeal.

Reference:  (Open the door to Jesus by reading His word. For encouragement, order our tape Principles of Bible Interpretation on audio AV 79-1 or video V-79.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002