My Dear Sisters and Brothers! A week ago I had an idea of linking the readings of this Sunday to the Father’s Day. It was even before I read the Scripture texts for this Sunday. However after I had read the First Reading and the Gospel I couldn’t push away the thought that the life of Mary Rose is a profound example of what the Holy Scriptures presented. The Prophet Isaiah spoke about the time when: ‘The eyes of the blind shall be opened, they ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a dear and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy.’ When Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ travelled across the Holy Land he was leaving the trial of miracles prophesised by Isaiah. The Gospel which we have just heard was one of those instances. Jesus restored the hearing and speech to a sick man. However as the Church is preparing for the beatification of Mary Rose we are given a sign that the trail of those great miracles prophesised by Isaiah is still happening. Mary Rose is a contemporary example of a person healed by Jesus. You may say that she wasn’t really healed. She never regained her vision. It is true. She remained blind but Jesus who by pronouncing the word ‘Ephphatha’ healed the deaf man opened her ears to hear the needs of the blind. Mary Rose was not just a social worker or a brilliant organiser. Her determination to help the blind led her to become a nun and the foundress of a religious congregation. She gave her sisters a twofold mission: caring for the blind and praying for healing of the spiritual blindness of the world. Her school for the blind was like a shrine where people kept coming to recharge their batteries from spending time with Mary Rose who was now known as Mother Elizabeth of the Crucified Jesus.
My Dear Fellow believers! When we open the Bible we enter the world filled with God’s mighty miracles, however it is not escapism from our seemingly God-less world. As we learn about the great things God performed there and then Jesus whispers into our own ears that powerful word ‘Ephphatha’ so that in the midst of things happening to us we could hear that God is at work in our time too. It may not be exactly how we could envisage it but it is the way God envisages it.
So was Mary Rose healed after all? If you doubt it go to that school she established and looked after with her fellow sisters. After sixty years since her death she is still remembered there as mother. She was blind but she was given sharp hearing. It enabled her to hear God and to hear the needs of the blind, and spiritually blind too. It was Amazing Grace indeed as we sang in our opening hymn. It was the same Amazing Grace which opened the ears and mouth of the man from the Gospel. Mary Rose, Mother Elizabeth of the Crucified Jesus, is part of that miracle trail left by Jesus. It didn’t end in the Bible. It is happening in our midst.