Both readings today speak of senses being ‘opened.’ Adam and Eve’s eyes and the deaf man’s ears were opened with very different consequences.
Hypothetical questions were popular when I was at school. Kids would ask, “What would your superpower be . . .?” or “If you had to be blind or deaf, which would you choose?” This question was always quite easy for me. More than the other senses, to lose my hearing completely was unfathomable. Without dismissing the pain of becoming blind, the inability to hear music, or the familiar voice of a loved one would be too hard to bear.
How incredible then to hear for the first time! What would it be like for someone whose ears that had been closed to sound, deaf to their own heartbeat and their mother’s voice in the womb, to suddenly hear the birds at dawn, the breath of the wind in the trees, or the crash of the waves on the shore? Ephphatha, says Jesus, be opened! This miracle is beyond my comprehension.
While perhaps the antithesis to Adam and Eve in the garden, whose eyes were unveiled as they ate the forbidden fruit, both ‘openings’ result in a sound. The deaf man can speak clearly and thus hear his voice for the first time, while Adam and Eve, hiding under fig leaves, hear God, walking in the garden. Their eyes are opened to knowledge, yet they are afraid, while the deaf man’s ears are opened to wonder, and he hears unbounded praise.
Are our eyes open to knowledge and answers, yet blind to the wonder of God in our midst? Today, let our senses be ‘opened.’ Let us see and hear the beauty of God’s creation around us. Let us listen for God, walking in the garden.
Angela Marquis works as a chaplain in a Tasmanian local primary school and with the Passionists at St Joseph’s Hobart Parish. She completed a Master of Theology in 2021 and is currently studying Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute. She enjoys rock climbing and long leisurely beach walks with her husband and four-legged daughter.