Friday, August 08, 2008


And they bring to him one deaf and dumb: and they besought him that he would lay his hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears: and spitting, he touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he groaned and said to him: "Ephpheta," which is, "Be thou opened." And immediately his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed and he spoke right. (Mark 7:32-35)

THE MAN DEAF AND DUMB is a type of the unregenerate. He who is unbaptized is deaf to the supernatural truths of religion and dumb to confess his faith and his own sinfulness. By Baptism the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are implanted in the soul of man; his spiritual ears are opened to the Divine truth, and his tongue is loosened to confess the faith, and to thank the Redeemer for his benefits. In the rite of Baptism the Church imitates the action of our Lord, the priest (or deacon) touching the child's ears and nose with spittle, while he pronounces the word 'Ephpheta' : 'Be opened!'

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)