November 14, 2016
As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
As human beings, we desire to understand the world around us, but original sin clouds our sight. Instead of having eyes to see the grace that surrounds us, to see Jesus in the Eucharist and in the faces of our brothers and sisters, we are blind to His goodness. We wander through this world with only a dim awareness of what really surrounds us.
The blind man, immersed in the darkness, became aware of Jesus's presence and called out to Him. Everyone around him told him to be silent, but he persisted, holding out hope that the Messiah would take pity on him. And Jesus did hear him.
Jesus hears us, too, when we call out in our darkness and confusion. And He asks us, "What do you want me to do for you?" We need to acknowledge our longing to see and ask Him to open our eyes. We must desire to leave the darkness of our ignorance and sin and to enter into His light. Sometimes we might be tempted to cling to the darkness out of complacency—we fear that the light will hurt our eyes—but that is not what we were made for. If we call on Him, He will illuminate our souls, and the overwhelming truth of His presence will reveal itself like the coming dawn.
Jesus does not heal us merely out of pity: He does so out of love. Both our blindness and our sight are gifts of love, given to help us understand our need for Him. He gives us the opportunity to freely choose Him, to long for Him, to return His love with all the capacity our human hearts can handle. If we ask Him to lead us out of the darkness, a world of beauty awaits us.