One of the “little mysteries”, or simple rites, that can be celebrated during baptism is the Ephphatha Rite (or “Be opened!”). As the minister touches the ears and mouth of the one being baptized, he says, “The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word, and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” And so our ears are made for receiving the Word of God, and our mouths are meant to proclaim God’s praise and glory from the implanted gift of faith.
Many people suffer from the attraction to gossip. Whether simply hearing it or sharing it, gossip eats away at the reputation of another. Yet every human person has the established right to their good reputation, no matter what. And so, whether you are tempted toward calumny (the spreading of lies which degrade another) or toward detraction (the spreading of truths which, although true, still destroy the good reputation of another), remember that your mouth was made for a holy purpose, and ears were made similarly to hear Goodness. Recall the maxim: if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all. Recall this simple reflection throughout Lent…and I pray that the Lord will again touch your ears and your mouth, that God will be the wondrous workings of your body!