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Friday, February 15, 2019

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Genesis 3:1-8
Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7
Mark 7:31-37

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open arms?

Jesus "said to him, 'Ephphatha!' (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 St. John Paul II's year 2000 Great Jubilee message)

Prayer:  Father, I repent of being closed to Your will. I open wide my heart (see 2 Cor 6:11, 13).

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:  George stopped compartmentalizing his life and let Jesus integrate His lordship over his work, family, and worship.

Reference:  (Open the door to Jesus by reading His Word. For encouragement, order, listen to, or download Principles of Bible Interpretation on CD 79-1 or DVD 79 on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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