We are loved. If there was any message that Jesus wanted His disciples, wanted us, to hear and understand, it is that we are loved. We are loved by God. We are loved by Jesus, the Eternal Image of the Father. Jesus healed the deaf man not just as a sign of the coming of the Messiah, as it certainly is, but as a sign of the love that God has for each of us. He heals us. The healing may be physical, or psychological, but it certainly is spiritual. He sees beneath what the world has proclaimed as success, as prosperity. For true prosperity is found in the account of the soul, not in a bank account. But Jesus’ healing of the deaf man was not to end there; none of His healings are an ending-they are a beginning. Jesus heals us not only as a sign of the Kingdom to come, not only as a demonstration of His love of for us, but also because of His great love for everyone. We are called to spread His love to others. Ultimately that is what justice is-the spreading of God’s love from ourselves to the rest of the world. If we do not spread God’s love we are practicing injustice. So St. James tells the early Christians and us that we need to treat each other for who they are not for what they have. We need to extend to others the dignity that is their God given right. It is how we extend the healing love of the Lord. God sees the goodness of every person. He sees His image and likeness in every person. He also sees how that image can be clouded, hidden behind a door of pain. And Jesus came and said, “Ephphatha, be opened!” He heals because He loves. He heals because He wants us to be the vehicles of His healing for others. As my mother would say His healing love for us is “not for nothin,’” we need to do something useful with it. If His love ends with us, then our story will have a very sad ending.