Back to our Markan Sunday sequence, Jesus is brought a deaf man with a speech impediment whom the crowds beg Jesus to heal (Mk 7:31-37). Jesus takes the man away from the crowd, touches his ear and tongue, says the word above, and thus heals him. Repeatedly ordering the crowd not to say anything about the healing, the astonished people proclaim it all the more, lauding Jesus’ miracles. “Be opened” is Jesus call to us today. That is, even if our physical hearing is a 100%, is our listening 100%? Are we paying attention to the Lord’s teaching in general and his call to each one of us specifically? Are we picking and choosing what we want to embrace — a “selective listening”? Taking a step back, have we even heard the message in the first place? Attending Mass as is our obligation is a good start, but it should not be our sole means of learning our faith and conversing with God. Daily prayer is essential. Reading the Catechism (free on the internet) and other solid materials (also many of which are on the web) is important for Catholics so that we know our faith in order that we can live it so that by our words and actions we share it as is our call (Mt 28:19-20, 1 Pt 3:15). May we always be open to the Lord’s teaching and His will for each of us so we can be His instruments in advancing His Kingdom spreading the Good News far and wide by “speaking plainly” the Word.