Friday of the 1st Week of Advent

Matt 9:27-31

The Healing of Two Blind Men

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Even though it was not Christmas yet for the two blind men in the gospel, they have no doubt as to what they wanted; as to what they like to get from Jesus. They went crying after Jesus and begged Him to have pity on them by giving back their own sight. Jesus granted their request in response to their faith.

As for us, may be we are fortunate if we don’t have a need as big as that of the two blind men. But we do have needs and we like to think that we have faith as well. Imagine yourself, then, as being given the opportunity of asking God for anything you wanted. What would you like to ask for? What kind of favor would you like to receive?

I’m sure we are asking thousands of needs to ask for. Are we asking for heaven? Yes, we want to enter heaven. But that is still probably far away and there are lots of things to do before we can inherit God’s kingdom. Should we pray for wisdom as what King Solomon was doing? Should we ask for the patience of Job or the charity of St. Vincent the Paul? But Jesus Himself on the night before he died, He asked God the Father for one thing. He said: “Father, if it is your will take this cup away from me; yet not my will but yours be done,” Luke 22:42). What a beautiful and simple prayer which includes everything. It expresses supreme faith in the power of God and complete hope and trust in His goodness.

For me, if I’m asked by the same question: What would I ask for? My answer is: “Father give me the grace to do not my will but yours.” How many of us try to do and live God’s will? How many of us are trustful enough? Do we trust God or do we trust what we have and reject God?

A poem entitled: Why Worry is very good for us to reflect:

There are only two things to worry about: either you are well or you are sick

If you are well, there is nothing to worry about, but if you are sick,

There are about two things to worry about: either you will get well or you will die

If you get well, there is nothing to worry about, but if you die

There are only two things to worry about: either you go to heaven or hell.

If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about, but if you go to hell

You’ll damn busy shaking hands with your friends; You don’t have time

To worry.

So don’t worry if you don’t want to do God’s will. It is because we have so many friends waiting for us in hell.

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Jesus’ final word to the two blind men challenges our sense of charity: “See to it that no one knows of this.” It is very easy to do kind things for others when the crowd stands ready for a good cheer or praise. We enjoy the fleeting consolation of recognition and reckon with a well-deserved recompense for the good we have done. However, sincere and honest charity is indifferent to acclamations and unconcerned about rewards.

It was told of St. Nicholas that he once helped a destitute father by throwing a bag of gold through an open window and hurried away. Charity is always ingenious and kindhearted people create a difference in other people’s lives without or show of publicity. Do it ever get into the headlines that a mother who lost her only daughter in an accident generously gave away her child’s vital organs and rejoiced in the thought that she received back the daughter she had lost in the new life of three suffering patients? Let us allow the hidden charity of Jesus to come alive in us as Advent prepares us for the gift-giving of Christmas. (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2002)

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It is normally tough on anyone’s pride to ask a favor from someone. We are reluctant to expose our inadequacy in broad daylight. If an option is presented where we can be independent at doing a certain thing by ourselves without relying on people’s help, we would certainly prefer to take that course.

However, beneath this attitude and perception, there are good number of reasons why we insist on being self-reliant and independent. First, we fear to fail. We are concerned that others might question and misconstrue our motives. Second, we are frightened by the thought of rejection, or our ability or lack of it to personally handle rejection when it comes. Third, there are certain societal norms and expectations that regulate how we should behave in any given human situation. For instance, we Filipinos in particular are aware of the complexity and obligations that are naturally embedded in the so-called “utang na loonb.” Knowing all this, we do all we can to carefully consider first the consequences before we ever take the last recourse.

Two blind men approached Jesus. They were single-minded in their motive. Their conditions warranted sympathy and understanding from people. It spared them of societal expectations demanded of the well and the healthy. Their need was legitimate. They acknowledge their dependency. They cast their absolute trust in Jesus. They ask him mercy. They knew it fully well that to receive mercy would mean restoration of their sight. He restored their sight – both physically and spiritually to the reality of his kingdom, but not without the cost of being ready to accept failure and rejection. With faith they dared to look at failure and rejection straight at the eye. (Fr. Nilo Cantilado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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“That day the deaf will hear…the eyes of the blind will see,” (Is. 29:18).

“According to your faith let it be done to you,” (Mt. 9:29).

A blind person sensing his/her way on a busy street always amazes me. If only he/she could see!

I am referring to physical blindness, of course.

The blind man in the gospel today knows his blindness; he is aware of what he wants from Jesus. He is in need of his healing touch. In faith he cries aloud to Jesus for help.

There are, however, other forms of blindness that could be more fatal – psychological, spiritual and moral blindness. I am psychologically blind when I do not see the depth of my being. I am spiritually blind when I do not see God at work in me. I am morally blind when I am blind to the gospel values.

Unlike physical blindness, the other forms of blindness, are not easy to notice by the person concerned as well as by others. Moreover, they are not easy to accept. Sometimes the person herself/himself is the last one to see it.

Am I willing to be made aware of my blind spots that need the healing touch of Jesus?

Am I open to receive Jesus’ offer to heal my blindness?

Faith can move mountains if only we believe. Faith in Jesus can bring about healing. (Sr. Mildred Arcos, SSpS Bible Diary 2005)

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The blind men’s plea for a cure invites us to seek healing of our own blindness. Lack of understanding is a form of blindness that can be more insidious than physical blindness. The first reading indicates that healing is the work of God. Just as sight is God’s grace so also the gift of understanding. Like the blind men who cried for help, we have to realize that we need healing and shout to ask Jesus for a cure.

It’s very difficult to admit that we are blind when our eyes are wide open. Yet there are people who suffer because of this blindness – these are the marginalized, the poor, the hungry, the homeless or they could be your spouse,, your child, your parent, your immediate family member; all of those who are out of range from our myopic attitude of life. If these people ever appear in our vision they exist as extensions of our own selfish needs. Borrowing from psychodynamic psychology, these people are our self-objects; they are there to prop up our selfish definition. Their needs are hidden in plain sight, since they are covered by what we desire and not what they really need.

To see or to understand requires prior knowledge;  we call that an intuition, which is another name for grace. An intuition is a hazy perception of truth that needs to be distilled, crystallized, in a sense, and worked through. This intuition, if attended to with prayer, focus and discipline can bring us to the knowledge of that which we are still unable to see. These are our own way of shouting, like that of the blind man begging Jesus to let them see. Jesus heard their cry and asked a very pointed question, “Do you believe that I can do this?” That question touched the very being of the blind men. It is only then when we really want to see that our eyes are touched. If there is no desire to see then we will remain oblivious to what is really in front of our eyes. (Fr. Melchor Bernal, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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December 2, 2016 Friday

Once I sat beside a blind but attentive beggar. Just by the sound of a coin dropped into his can, he could decipher correctly how much it was. Or by the feel of paper money, he could tell a Php 20 bill from a Php 50 or Php 100.

God is great! Lacking one human sense, blind people have a more developed sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling or touch. Today’s gospel presents two blind men following Jesus and crying out. They might not see the Lord but their better sense of hearing led them to Jesus. When Jesus entered a house, they approached him there. Perhaps their sense of hearing and smell probably helped them encounter Jesus directly.

Two good things opened their way to the heart of the Lord who appreciated their efforts: their humility borne of a desperate search for a better life, and their simple uncluttered faith. Uttering “Son of David” showed their recognition of who Jesus was, and gave them the chance to ask for help. When Jesus himself asked if they had faith in him to heal them, they responded positively.

Do we have such kind of simple disposition and faith? We need to continue listening to the Lord and following his instructions, otherwise we get lost in the joy of basking in the Lord’s blessings and forget to follow his other instructions. The measure of how great our gratitude is could be seen in the effect of our faith life on those around us. It would also be good for us to take a more appreciative look at our senses and how we could use them better to further the Kingdom of God. (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD | Radio Veritas Asia, Q.C. Bible Diary 2016)

http://rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/1051-december-2-2016-friday

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December 7, 2012

St. Ambrose,
bishop and doctor
(M) WHITE

Is 29:17-24
Ps 27
Mt 9:27-31

Mt 9:27-31
The Healing of Two Blind Men

27As Jesus passed [by], two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” 28When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. 29Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

REFLECTION:

Do you believe that I can do this? The two men do three things. First, they follow Jesus. How can they follow the Lord when they are blind? They may be physically blind but are spiritually enlightened. They see Jesus as their savior and healer.

Second, they believe in the power of Jesus. As they believe, their physical sight is restored.

Third, they share Jesus with others. They spread word about him through all the land. They bear witness to him.

We must see our need for Jesus and follow him. We are blind if we give in to the cravings of our appetites and ambitions, follow the call to fame and glamour, and believe only in our personal power and ability. We must testify to Jesus and proclaim his goodness and love.

What are the things that blind you? Ask Jesus to help you come to the light.

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2091-december-7-2012

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Thursday, December 3, 2015       

Reflection for December 4, Friday of the First Week of Advent: Matthew 9:27-31

Reflection: What moves us to go to church to attend Mass? It’s our faith! When we are sick and in need of healing; what moves us to pray and ask Jesus to heal us? It is our deep faith! When we learn to ask with faith Jesus will certainly give it to us.

Faith is the healing balm that we receive from God, but not everyone has this faith. Those who have faith must do something so that those who do not have faith will have it. And this we can do best if we learn to share our faith in Jesus and the many miracles that He has done in our life.

The two blind men in our gospel obviously had faith for they shouted to Jesus, “Son of David have pity on us!” Who gave them faith? It was somebody who shared to them Jesus and in sharing Jesus with them they slowly but surely gained faith.

Let us also have the courage to share our faith and friendship with Jesus. For it’s in sharing our faith that we grow in faith and it’s in sharing our faith that we make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Have you already shared your faith? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/12/reflection-for-december-4-friday-of.html

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Reflection for Friday December 2, First Week in Advent; Matthew 9:27-31

What causes spiritual blindness? It’s our love affair with this world, love affair means that we are overly concerned about how we look. We are overly concerned of the external impression of our fellowmen about us. And we are overly fixated with chasing material wealth, power and other worldly appendage. All of these cause our spiritual blindness.

In the gospel, we have two physically blind men who were not blind spiritually because recognized the presence of Jesus who was passing by them.  Thus, they shouted toward Jesus “Son of David, have pity on us!” And very  quckly Jesus did not disappoint them.

We must not allow this world to rob us of our spiritual vision for the simple reason that this is where we would discover the true essence and meaning of life. We have to understand that life is not about earthly riches, influence and so forth for what is the use of riches and influence if we don’t have Jesus in our lives?

The moment we decide to faithfully follow Jesus our spiritual blindness will be cured and we will see things differently very different from how we see it before. We would be able to discover that nothing matters in this world except the love and light of Jesus.

Jesus Himself said this: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/12/reflection-for-friday-december-2-first.html

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Is 29: 17-24; Mt 9: 27-31

Experience the True Star

The drastic change that comes to a person when he encounters and experiences the Messiah is indeed marvelous. The wonderful change foretold in Isaiah may refer to the affairs of Judah, but it points further to the coming of the Saviour. The wilderness was turned into a fruitful field and the fruitful field became a deserted forest. Those who, when in trouble, can truly rejoice in God, shall soon have cause greatly to rejoice in him. The grace of meekness contributes to the increase of our holy joy. The enemies who were powerful shall become mean and weak. He that redeemed Abraham out of his snares and troubles will redeem those who are, by faith, his true descendants. The Spirit of truth shall lead them to the real truth. God can indeed bring a great change in the hearts and lives of men: the deaf shall hear and the blind shall see; the meek will obtain joy in the Lord and poor shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. The prophecy of Isaiah finds its true fulfillment with the arrival of the Saviour.

The changes that are prophesied by Isaiah are echoed by the Psalmist in Psalm 27. The Lord, who is the believer’s light, is the strength of his life; not only by whom, but in whom he lives and moves. In God the believer finds his strength and courage. The gracious presence of God, his power, his promise, his readiness to hear prayer, the witness of his Spirit in the hearts of his people, are the secrets of the holy security and the peace of mind of the believer. The psalmist prays for constant communion with God, to seek the face of the Lord and to see the face of the Lord. All God’s children desire to dwell in their Father’s house. Not to sojourn there as a wayfaring man, to stay but for a night; or to dwell there for a time only, as the servant that abides not in the house for ever; but to dwell there all the days of their life, as children with a father. The true believer always desires, prays for, seeks after and rejoices in the presence of the Lord, to see the light of the Lord and to walk in his ways.

The Gospel passage from Matthew illustrates precisely the experience of those who have seen the light of the Lord. At a time when the Jews were expecting the arrival of the Messiah, the blind men knew and proclaimed in the streets of Capernaum that he had already come and that Jesus was the one they were waiting for. Those who, by the providence of God, have lost their bodily sight, may, by the grace of God, have the eyes of their understanding fully enlightened. And whatever our needs and burdens are, we require no more supply and support, than to share in the mercy of our Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ is enough for us. The blind men followed Christ, and followed him crying; but the great question is, “Do you believe?” Nature may make us earnest, but it is only grace that can work faith. Christ touched their eyes. He gives sight to blind souls by the power of his grace going with his word, and he puts the cure upon their faith. Those who come to Jesus Christ shall be dealt with, not according to their imaginations nor according to their profession, but according to their faith. Authentic faith is the only way to Jesus the Messiah and to experience the light of our lives. As we light the stars in our surroundings this Advent season, let us also ask Jesus to strengthen our faith that we may encounter and experience the true Star that is born for us and follow him every moment of our lives. Dr. Wilson Edattukaran CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-12-4

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Spreading the Good News: In many countries, it is a custom that when the father of a family is about to die or to go on a long journey, he gathers around him his entire family and gives them some last instructions: telling them what he wants them to do while he is away.

Jesus did that just before he ascended into heaven. He told all his followers to go out over the whole world and bring everyone his good news and baptize them.

Over the centuries, many thousands of missionaries have literally followed Jesus’ last wish. Because of what they did, you and I are Catholics today. Did it ever strike you that this last wish of Jesus on earth is also aimed at your personality? Have you ever done something about it? I do not mean you have to go out as a catechist or missionary. You can stay right where you are and try to influence people around you by your good example.

Have you ever tried to bring just ONE person into the church? do you realize that if you made only one convert each year, and if this convert also made one convert each year, after ten years there would be many who have embraced the faith and have become closer to God! That does not seem so hard to do, does it? Why not give it a try?

You are like a person standing in a long line of people. Each person is holding a candle. Your candle was lighted by someone else when you became a Catholic. Not it is your job to pass along that light….. and it will go on and on endlessly. But if you do not pass on the light of your faith, then perhaps a row of thousands of people will be in darkness just because you kept your light to yourself.

Remember by lighting someone else’ candle from your own, your candle does not lose any of its own light….. Do not keep the faith SHARE it! (Frank Mihalic (2001). A Thought for Today. Manila: Logos Publications, Inc. pp. 12-13).

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT (YEAR C) – MATEO 9:27-31. UNSA MAY ATONG GUSTO NGA MADAWAT KARONG UMAABOT NGA PASKO? Diha sa ebanghelyo adunay duha ka buta nga nagpakilooy kang Hesus – gusto sila nga makakita. Unsa kaha kon kini usab ang atong pangayoon sa Ginoo – ang grasya nga makakita sa kamatuoran. Usa ka awit ang nagkanayon: “Buta kita sa pagpakabana, buta kita sa luha. Ug way pulos ang kahayag sa atong mga mata kon sa kasingkasing magpabilin tang buta.” Sa pagkatinuod, kada tawo adunay pagkabuta. Adunay mga tawo nga dili makakita sa ilang kaanindot; ang uban dili makakita sa ilang kadaotan. Adunay mga tawo nga buta sa kaayo sa isigkatawo; ang uban buta sa panginahanglan sa mga silingan. Ning kapaskohan, hangyoon nato ang Ginoo nga iya kitang tabangan nga makakita sa mga butang nga angay natong makit-an. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/12/friday-of-1st-week-of-advent-year-c.html

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT – MATEO 9:27-31. UNSA MAY ATONG GUSTONG MADAWAT SA UMAABOT NGA PASKO? Adunay duha ka buta nga nagpakilooy kang Hesus – gusto silang makakita. Nindot usab kon kini ang atong pangayoon sa Ginoo – ang grasya nga makakita sa kamatuoran. Usa ka awit ang nagkanayon: “Buta kita sa pagpakabana, buta kita sa luha. Ug way pulos ang kahayag sa atong mga mata kon sa kasingkasing magpabilin tang buta.” Sa pagkatinuod, kada tawo adunay pagkabuta. Adunay mga tawo nga dili makakita sa ilang kaanindot; ang uban dili makakita sa ilang kadaotan. Adunay mga tawo nga buta sa kaayo sa isigkatawo; ang uban buta sa panginahanglan sa silingan. Atong i-ampo sa Ginoo nga hatagan kitag panan-aw nga sama sa iyaha kay matod pa ni Charles Stanley: “The capacity to see things from God’s viewpoint is what you call wisdom.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/12/friday-of-1st-week-of-advent.html

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016

1st Week of Advent, Friday, 02-12-16

Isaiah 29:17-24 / Matthew 9:27-31

In Singapore, we are used to efficiency and productivity. For a small country like ours that does not have much natural resources, that is what we can offer to investors in order to remain competitive.

But it is not just to investors that would be impressed with our efficiency and productivity. Any company, especially those in the service sector must be able to attend to a customer’s request as quickly as possible, otherwise they will be left behind and left out.

We would think that Jesus would also be quick to attend to any request because He came to proclaim the love of God and this is especially manifested in His healing ministry.

In the gospel, we heard that two blind men followed Him shouting: Take pity on us, Son of David! But the gospel went on to say that it was only when He reached the house that the blind men came up to Him.

Why was it that Jesus did not attend to the two blind men immediately as He would usually do? Why did He make the two blind men, who already have the difficulty of making their way around, follow Him all the way to the house?

In a way, that is also much like how we felt about the way our prayers are going. We have offered prayer after prayer and the answer seems slow in coming, and at times we wonder if the answer would ever come at all.

But the experience of the two blind men tells us this – for prayer to be answered, it requires a combination of faith, perseverance and persistence.

On this First Friday as we gather in the Eucharist to pray for the petitions offered to the Sacred Heart, Jesus is also asking us this: Do you believe that I can do this?

Furthermore, the Advent season is a time of waiting in faith and hope for God to answer our prayers as He did for His people in the past.

And like how the two blind men replied Jesus, we too want to believe that Jesus will answer our prayers. It is not about how quickly, but about whether we believe. Let us believe and persist in believing. Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim

frstephenyim-weekdays.blogspot.com/2016/12/1st-week-of-advent-friday-02-12-16.html

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December 02, 2016

Throughout the time of Advent we hear a lot of predictions taken from the Book of Isaiah, the greatest of the prophets of Israel. All these texts of Isaiah constitute a teaching about the Messianic Age to come. And, as we see in today’s gospel reading, the predictions of Isaiah are shown as realized in the ministry of Jesus.

In today’s first reading Isaiah describes the future Messianic Age in particularly glowing terms. It will be, he says, a time when even snow-covered Mt. Lebanon will become green and when, in his own words, “out of the dark and obscurity the eyes of the blind will see.” And the gospel reading presents a scene describing precisely Jesus healing two blind men.

This scene, however, is in sharp contrast with the grand descriptions of Isaiah’s Messianic Age. It is subdued, toned down, muted. Obviously Jesus is not the flashy Messiah Isaiah imagined. His compassion indeed compels him to act and to act powerfully in favor of those who suffer. But he does not want his miracles to become spiritual fireworks for the entertainment of the crowds. He is only interested in changing hearts and in changing lives.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3721-december-02-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 1st Week of Advent

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