The Blind Man of Bethsaida
Once upon a time a loaf of bread fell from a bakery truck and as it hit the ground a crumb broke loose. Three sparrows all eyed the crumb and swooped down to grab it, but began fighting over it.
Eventually, one of the sparrows succeeded in scooping up the crumb in its beak and flew away with it with the other two sparrows following in hot pursuit. A frenzied aerial fracas took place until the crumb was completely consumed.
The only thing these sparrows saw was the crumb. None noticed the loaf still on the ground. How often we consume our energies squabbling over trivialities while the true riches of life go unnoticed and escape us, (from the Daily Encounter).
Blindness is sometimes considered by the Jews as a punishment for disobedience (1Sam. 11:2). And also it denotes ignorance as to spiritual things (Is. 6:10; 42:18). The Jews are specially charged to treat the blind with compassion and care (Lev. 19:14). In today’s gospel a blind man is brought to Jesus by some of the blind man’s friends. It is also through their faith that moves Jesus to pity and heals the blind man. And his healing is by stages. The blind man’s sight is restored in stages as he responds to Jesus’ healing touch. St. Mark records this remarkable miracle in these short phrases: He looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home with a warning to avoid the company of those who live in spiritual darkness. And so what’s worse than physical blindness? It is blindness of heart and soul for sure. Are there any blind spots in your life that cloud your vision of God and his kingdom?
Therefore I would like to invite you to reflect on three things about the healing of a blind man as mentioned in the homily of a priest: First, the blind man does not go by himself to Jesus. The blind man is helped by others to come to Jesus to be touched and healed by Him. These people ask Jesus to cure the blind man. In other words, God uses other people to bring salvation to us. Do we allow God to use us to bring this somebody back to Him?
Second, the cure of the blind man is progressive. The healing process is by stages. The healing does not happen all at once. So also with us we cannot expect that the people we bring to Jesus for physical or spiritual healing are going to be healed all at once. Just like St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine. She was praying for the conversion of St. Augustine for a long period of time. And only after that long period of time that St. Augustine was converted to the Catholic faith. Do we get discouraged when the person we are praying for does not change from one day to the next? Are we patient enough and allow Jesus to do His work?
Third, Jesus says to the blind man not to go back to the village or tells him: “Go and sin no more,” (John 8:11). What is there that Jesus does not want the cured blind man to see? Jesus does not want because everything we see (good or evil) remains inside us. We cannot erase our memories like dry-erase boards or reformat our souls like a blank CD. The experiences we have we carry them until we die and they become either spiritual boosts or dead weight to drag us down. And so let us “keep awake and pray” (Mark 14:38) not to fall into temptation.
OPTION 01, 02, 03,