What is My Impediment Today

Yesterday morning, I attended Mass at Christ the King. The Gospel was St. Mark’s account of Jesus’ healing of a “deaf man who had a speech impediment.” In order to heal the man, Jesus “put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue.”

An impediment is a hindrance or obstruction. Fr. Dale explained in his sermon that part of the ancient Baptism rite included the priest putting his fingers in the ears of the person being baptized and placing salt on the person’s tongue to remove any impediments to the person hearing God’s voice and speaking words of praise to God.

What is my impediment?, he then encouraged us to consider. Every day we face impediments to hearing God’s voice and speaking God’s praises. What is the impediment I need healed today?

I was really struck by the what he said. When we think of our need for healing, I think we tend to think of the big things – our core issues that impede our discipleship. Those core issues vary, but we all have them. And certainly we desperately need hearing of those big impediments.

But I think Fr. Dale is absolutely right that there are all sorts of smaller things that impede us on a day-to-day basis. And there is value in being intentional about acknowledging what (or who) is it right now that is impeding my ability to hear God and seeking healing of that impediment. Jesus so often asked people, “what do you want..what do you need from me.” Fr. Dale’s sermon invites us to both reflect on our need for healing and ask God to heal those impediments.