We live in a world that, for one reason or another, is often very noisy. That noise can be the buzz of life as it is happening around us or it may be the buzz of a crowded mind. Whatever the source of the noise in our life, the consequence of it is that it usually distracts us from being truly present to what is happening right here and right now. That is, it takes us away from the present moment. We are often more interested in the next moment than what is happening right now. To be truly present in the moment is to truly listen. Listening is not so much something we intentionally do as it is a way of being in the world. Being present and listening, therefore, are one and the same.
Mark’s Gospel challenges us to rediscover the importance of listening by being present. In the healing of the man who is deaf, and the two words uttered by Jesus, “Be opened,” we are invited into a new way of being. Like the man in the story, we too can be deaf to what is going on around us and even within us. We can sometimes get caught up in the daily grind that is our lives that we miss the only thing that there ever is, the present moment. We can be like a fish searching for the ocean forgetting that we are already immersed in it. We forget that what is most important is right here and right now, and this is because that is all there ever is. Past and future are abstractions and never the object of experience.
Today Jesus says to us: “Be opened.” Be opened to the fullness of life that is available to us in every moment. When we rediscover the truth of this, then, we are truly listening and hearing the Word that is God.