Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……

Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good….every moment of the day brings new opportunities and possibilities. May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Jesus went into the district of Decapolis which was largely a gentile territory, opening himself to people beyond Jewish circles (Mark 7:31-37). The ministry of Jesus was open to all, not just to the Jews. People brought a deaf man to Jesus for healing. Jesus took him aside, away from the crowd, touched him and said, “Be opened” and healed him. The man who was opened and the people who witnessed the healing went about opening themselves and proclaiming the good news that they came to know, in spite of beings asked not to tell anyone about this experience.

The deaf-mute is set free from his handicap, from his inability to hear and communicate. The words of Jesus to the man were “be opened” rather than “be healed” or “speak” or anything similar. Jesus “opened” the man and freed him. A door that was closed and sealed was now open for the man….he was free!

It is interesting to note that Jesus asked the people to keep the healing of the deaf man “closed”, not to tell anyone. Sometimes, it is prudent to be closed. We are invited to discern how closed and open we need to be in different situations. In this situation Jesus did not want publicity, didn’t want to draw attention to himself. The authorities were on the watch for anything to entrap him. It was the prudent thing to keep the matter quiet.

Be opened! Be opened to receive the good news and to proclaim the good news!

Be open to the Holy Spirit to help you discern how closed and open you need to be in different situations.

Be opened to the Grace of God! Let His Grace penetrate your whole being and transform your whole being!

We are a people who have been opened, awakened and enlightened. We are not in the dark. We are children of light and we have seen the light. Now it is up to us to remain open and closed as the situations of our life demands.

To remain open is to be permeable! Being open enables us to see, hear, welcome and embrace the Grace, the light, the wisdom and the love God pours into our heart by the Holy Spirit. This openness lets God’s Grace penetrate our heart and mind and transform us into what God made us to be. Openness is essential for change, growth and transformation to happen.

To remain open to everything is not a good thing. If we are open to everything, we lose our identity. Everything becomes alright. We have to be “opened” by the Grace of God so that we can open ourselves to His Grace. “Opened” by the Grace of God, we are enabled to choose, to discern how closed and open we need to be in different situations. Sometimes, it is prudent to be closed and at other times it is necessary to be closed or else we lose our identity.

Being closed means no change and no growth and so no transformation. A closed person does not allow God’s Grace to touch his life. He remains what he has always been. He becomes more and more settled in his ways, stubborn and perhaps arrogant, standing in judgement of the rest of the world.

Be Opened! Be permeable! We welcoming!

St. James advises all his readers to be open to the world around, to see the less privileged in the community, to have concern and compassion, for others, which takes us beyond our prejudices. He tells us that the faith of those who believe in Jesus must be lived out and expressed in every aspect of life and not mere words. We have to be open to let the word of Christ penetrate our whole being. James says, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22). He invites us to open ourselves to those around us and reach out to the less privileged in our community.

Judeo-Christian traditions began with a man who opened himself to the word of God. God called Abraham to leave all he had known and go to a place where God was leading him. He opened himself to God and His word and journeyed not knowing the destination.

Christian traditions began with a woman who said “yes” to God’s word. Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…you will bear a son…do not be afraid”. And Mary said, “How can this be!” The angel said, “Nothing is impossible with God” And Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say”.

Christianity became a spiritual force because the tomb of Jesus was opened and good news spread from the open tomb.

Be Opened! Be permeable! We welcoming!

Jesus said, crying out, “Lord…Lord…” will not give anyone access to the Kingdom (Mathew 7:21, 24-27). Jesus calls us to be open to the His word, to be transformed by the way of the Kingdom and to live the way of the Kingdom.

Fine words are never substitutes for fine deeds. Be sincere in your efforts to live out your faith. It is not difficult to recite a creed, but to be “opened” by that creed and to live the Christian life is demanding and challenging and often difficult.

Paul instructed the Ephesians: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…… “Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light “…… Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity… Defer to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:1-21)

Paul challenged the Ephesians to make their choice out of “reverence” for Christ. Now are challenged to be awake and be opened!

The love of Christ became the moving force in the life of Paul. He says, “The love of Christ impels us.” This love, he says, makes us a “new creation”, with a new life style. This is God’s gift of reconciliation and peace. In Jesus, God has reconciled us to himself so that we may become “the very holiness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21). Therefore they must live a life worthy of this noble calling by living lives of honor, virtue and grace. They must live lives that are holy with “heartfelt mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love”. This is our calling today…to be noble men and women, wearing garments of nobility!

Let us make the following song our prayer through the day…sing it if you can

Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart, want to see You..

To see you high and lifted up, shining it the light of your glory

Lord, pour out your power and love as we sing Holy, Holy, Holy

Or make the following song our prayer through…sing it if you can

Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face, Open my eyes Lord help to see.

Open my mouth Lord, help me to sing your praise, Open my mouth Lord help to sing.

Open my heart Lord, help me to love like you, Open my heart Lord help to love.

Be Opened! Be permeable! We welcoming!

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs