The ear, in the Bible and iconography, symbolizes hearing, understanding, and obeying – the ability to hear the Word of God, the voice of God and communication with God. If you ever noticed, in Byzantine Iconography, many of the archangels, angels and saints are depicted with a little ribbon like string coming from behind their ears, almost like part of their long hair or hair accessory – that little detail symbolizes that they actively hear the voice of God.

In today’s Gospel reading from Mark, Jesus heals the deaf man by putting His finger into the man’s ear and by spitting and touching his tongue, then He said: Ephphatha, that is: Be Opened! Mark 7: 31-37

Our Fr. John’s homily was so beautiful and informative:
The Gospel of Mark is the first Gospel written and was written in Greek, even though if you may notice “Ephphatha” is an Aramaic word, the language that Jesus spoke. In seven other places in Mark’s gospel were Aramaic words used instead of Greek, the familiar words to Jesus, close to his heart, like an intimate conversation with family, with His Father, just like in His prayer “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mk 14:36. Abba translates as a endearing form of ‘Father’, like “daddy” Wouldn’t be so beautiful to have that close relationship with Jesus and God!

An Opened Ear is a direct highway to the Heart where the Miracle of a change of heart occurs, may we all experience it!
Fr. John mentioned as well the beautiful baptismal prayer “Ephphatha” prayed over the person being baptized the priest touching their ear and praying the hearing may be opened to the Word of God.
This song:
“open my eyes, Lord, Help me see your face
Open my ears Lord, Help me to hear your voice
Open my Heart Lord, help me to love like you”
Open My Eyes, by Jesse Manibusan 1958


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