A couple of years ago, there was a movie called The King’s Speech. You may have seen it. It won a ton of Oscars and was a great movie. The King’s Speech is about Prince Albert, who is forced to take over as King of England. He’ll become King George, and he’ll be the father of Queen Elizabeth II. And it’s at the same time that Hitler is rising in power and England is about to go to war with Germany. And at that same time, the invention of the radio had just come into play; his role was going to be primarily a role of speaking. He would have to learn how to speak into the microphone and speak to the people of England and the people of the entire world. Now, this is a difficult task for somebody who stutters. So the movie goes into the terrifying burden that he has of stuttering. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this yourself, or maybe you stuttered as a child; maybe you still stutter now. I know as a priest sometimes when I’m talking, I may stutter or lose my words, and then the panic starts to set in, and I wonder if I will keep stuttering for the rest of my life. You hear all these crazy voices coming into your mind. It’s a terrifying thing. And as the movie progresses, what is beautiful is the scenes that he spends with his therapist. And it’s kind of like Jesus pawing the stutterer off to the side. The therapist insists that he meet with him every single day, and it’s just he and him alone. So there’s one point in the movie where they begin to get to know each other, and the therapist says, “call me Lyle,” and the prince says, “I’ll call you doctor.” And he says, “I prefer Lyle,” and then he says, “what do I call you?” and he says, “well, you can call me Your Royal Highness and Sir after that.” The therapist says, “well, that’s a little bit formal for us; I prefer names.” And so the prince says, “well, you can call me Prince Albert Fredrick Arthur George,” and the therapist says, “how about Bertie?” And that’s the nickname that his family uses, and of course, the prince doesn’t like that. But as the movie progresses, we see the two of them interact, and the therapist’s real desire is to get to some of the memories of the prince he had when he was a child. When did this stutter begin? And the prince, of course, doesn’t want to go there, you know. He’s not personal. He’s a man from England; he has no desire to go back into his history with him. But he does. And after some time, they begin to go back into the memories. And I want to share a few of those with you, and as I do, I want you to think about your memories. Because Jesus, as he pulls the man aside, he desires to heal not only our speech impediment or whatever our sin or difficulty may be, he desires to heal all of us. So, they get together every day, and there’s this memorable scene where they’re doing these ridiculous things to try to get him not to stutter. One of them is they’re two feet apart from each other, they’re both shaking their hands, and they’re both going, “Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah.” Do you remember that part from the movie? So, they’re shaking, he’s got him lying on the floor, he’s got him stuttering and saying m m m m and got him saying that shorter each time. He’s got him swaying his arms, standing on his heels back and forth as Father Jeremy does with his sermons. Do you ever see him do that? He gets him loose in his shoulders, yelling the word Ahhhh out the window, just screaming out the window. And then he has him singing, and then he said, “say father,” so he says, “Father. Father. Father. Father.” And it’s at that point that there’s a breakthrough. Because they begin to then look at his childhood. And when they look at his childhood, he realizes that he had a brother, David, that teased him. When he asked him who his closest friends were growing up, who he was closest to, he said, “I had no friends.” And then he said, “well, which parent were you closest to? “And he said, “probably the nanny.” And then he said, “well, which nanny?” and he said, “actually the first one was the meanest because she, anytime my parents would come in, she would pinch me to make me cry in front of my parents, and when my parents would send me back to her she would starve me for days on end.” And so he comes to know that he’s got all of these painful memories from his childhood. His brother Johnny would die at thirteen. What’s beautiful about this is the movie, the director of the movie was a child when he first heard the King speak on the radio. And he knew that he had a speech impediment he had overcome, and he thought if the King could overcome his speech impediment, so could I. And so he wanted to make this movie, and he asked Queen Elizabeth if he could make the movie, and she said, “Not until I die.” Does anybody know how Queen Elizabeth II lived, how long she lived? She was pretty old when she died, so he had to wait 30 or 40 years to make this movie. So, he finally does and what’s so profound is by the end of the movie, the therapist and the king become the best of friends. They become the most intimate companions. They become lifelong friends. And Bertie would end up becoming known as “The Good King.” So it would all be transformed. Well, Jesus desires to do the same for every one of us. As I said, the beautiful part of the Gospel today is he pulls the man who stutters with a speech impediment, and he pulls him aside away from the crowds. Why does he do this? I have to imagine, just as today, if somebody has a speech impediment or a stutter, they might get made fun of. The crowds might be jeering at him. Back then, it was seen as being a sin to have a disease or anything like that. And so he pulls him aside. And he spends time with him. We don’t know what Jesus said to him at that moment. But I have to believe he spoke to him about his memories that needed to be healed. Then he does two things that are very physical and very human. Kind of like the silly things the therapist was doing to unlock the king’s stutter. He takes his finger and sticks it into his ear. And heals his hearing. And then he does something even more absurd; he spits on his finger and then sticks it into his mouth, so Jesus is just swapping spit with this man. Well, it was always seen; saliva was seen as medicinal healing. So, Jesus was giving his very body, his very saliva, to heal this man. And what’s interesting is that after he brings about this healing, he tells everybody doesn’t speak about it. In Mark, Jesus would often say that over and over again because it wasn’t the miracle so much that he wanted people to focus on, but it would be ultimately his suffering, his death, and his resurrection. And so, as each of us come before our Lord today in the Eucharist, he wants to be near to us. He may not spit on his finger and touch your mouth, but he’s going to take his very body and place it into your mouth so that you can receive healing. And as we prepare, I want you to think about memories you may have from the past that are still haunting you. You may not want to share sad memories that are locked up with him because those are the very memories that he desires to touch and heal. When you were baptized, there was a Rite of Baptism called the Ephphatha Rights, and that comes from the Gospel. And in Baptism, as the priest does the Ephphatha Right, he takes the child or the adult, whoever it may be, and he places his fingers on the child’s ears, and he says, “May the Lord soon touch your ears to receive His Word.” And then we touch the mouth and say, “And open your mouth to proclaim the glory of God.” And so, may the lord soon touch your ears so you may hear and open your mouth that you may proclaim the Glory of God.