9.09.2012

Ephphatha

After a one-two punch of insensitive infertility related experiences, followed up with a homily focusing on how all things are possible with God in which my head was in total agreement, but my heart just wasn't there, I was pretty much ready to fall apart as I went to communion at Mass this morning.

Then, two things happened to lift my mood and remind me that it really is Christ who makes things new and on whom I need to lean. First, our parish uses extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion every week - we have one priest and a huge parish, not ideal, but it's what we do. Now, some of these EMHC are awesome and very reverent. Others, not so much. Today however, both the EMHC for the host and the cup were both two of the awesome, reverent ones. I breathed a sign of relief as I headed to communion.

But really, it was the second thing that reminded me that all things are possible through Christ and that, no matter how it may feel, He will never leave us. I was in line to receive the Precious Blood and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man in the line beside me bow and receive the Precious Blood with such reverence I was struck by it and I visibly smiled.

And then I realized, it was The Man.

For whatever reason, our line is always a little slow and it's not uncommon for some of us to step over to the other line to avoid a back-up. Well, regardless of how we sit, The Man is always behind me because he always lets me go in front of him when we step out of our pew (an awesome, gentlemanly thing he learned from my Pap). Because of this, I never actually see The Man receive Holy Communion, I am always in front of him. When I realized it was The Man I had seen receive Our Lord with such reverence, it changed my whole perspective.

Suddenly, my heart heard and understood what our priest had been speaking about in his homily. Suddenly, the one-two punch didn't sting anymore. And instead, I realized that all things are possible through Christ. And that yes, he opened the ears of the deaf man and made him able to speak, but it was in His words that the Truth really lies - "Ephphatha!" ("Be opened!").

Do I believe that the Lord can cure our infertility? Yes.

Do I believe all things are possible with Jesus? Yes.

But it's not the cure or the answer that is what Jesus asks of us. And when He made the deaf man able to hear, He didn't say "I've answered your prayers and made you able to hear." No, he said "be opened." And in watching The Man, especially without realizing it was him, receive communion with such reverence reminded me that we have already received this miracle. No, we are not perfect and we have much to learn both in this life and as we are purified to meet our Lord in the next. But we have already received the miracle of being opened by Christ to His will and work in our lives. And together, through this beautiful sacrament of marriage, we are continually opening ourselves to Christ in our lives. Whether it's in our intimate relationship as we physically renew our spoken vows or in the day to day ways we serve one another, it's all because of Jesus. And through Jesus, all things are possible.

I had not told The Man about these experiences (I try not to dump on him too much, he has his own pain), but I realized that I had to. I had to tell him, because I had to thank him. I had to thank him for loving Jesus more than he loves me, for having reverence for Our Lord, and for inviting Jesus into our lives. As I did, and before I told him the "rest of the story", and the tears streamed down my cheeks and he agreed that I was right to be hurt, I saw the tears fill his eyes. And, in that moment, I knew that this experience was just as much a gift to The Man as it was to me today. As I finished the story, with my communion experience, I saw the same realization cross The Man's face as had crossed mine, that it is because of Christ we will make it through this. That through our baptism, we were both given the same gift the deaf man of today's gospel was given, and in fact this same prayer "ephphata" was prayed over us at our baptism. It is in our openness that we embrace the pain and find hope in the promise of resurrection.

14 comments:

  1. Sitting here crying through this. I love this perspective. Still praying for you, friend.

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  2. Thanks for writing this. I needed to hear it today.

    My husband always lets me go in front of him also...and he learned it from my Dad. :)

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  3. You are seriously making me cry here. That is such a beautiful experience, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I would have to say, having read your blog for several years now, that I can also see the fruit of Christ's work of opening in both of you!

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  4. Who ARE you?!?!

    My hubby always let's me go ahead, too. :)

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  5. Come to think of it, I have no idea if I've ever seen Chris receive. Wow though, such a powerful experience. Sorry you had some insensitivity lately, but thank you for sharing this.

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  6. God bless you! This is such a powerful reflection.

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  7. wow, beautiful! Your heart is really softening to His Plan for your life. Plus, your vulnerability is allowing so much grace into your marriage. So perfect.

    I rarely see my DH receive, he is so darn tall that if he does go before me, I can't see! UGH!

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  8. WOAH! That is powerful! That's amazing to have that experience. You sound like you have such a wonderful marriage and you're married to such an amazing man. Thanking God for your blessings!!!!

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  9. WOW! WOW! WOW!!! What a great post!

    Btw, Mr JB always let's me go first too :)

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  10. Ah! Such a beautiful post!! My Dh always lets me go ahead of him in Mass, always opens the car door for me and lets me walk on the "inside" of the sidewalk. I absolutely love strong, awesome men and I absolutely love this reflection of yours! You and The Man are sooo blessed to have each other!

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  11. WOW!!! Amazing!!!
    I love that The Man lets you go in front of him. So sweet! :-)
    I also loved the homily as well. Our priest talked about healing being physical or spiritual, and while we may not be healed physically, we can be healed spiritually. It was way more eloquent than that, but I don't have the right words.
    I LOVE THIS!!!

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  12. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story... very touching. He is the ultimate Healer isn't He? We just have to let him...

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