Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, November 16
May We Each Turn to Trust in God’s Mercy, Praying for Protection from Spiritual Blindness, Not Only for Ourselves but Also for All Our Loved Ones, and Also for Those Who Are Suffering and Have Lost Their Way in Life.
“Lord, please let me see.” – words which we hear today which can speak about our own need for spiritual sight in our daily walk of faith as we journey through life.
In today’s Gospel, we read the story about a blind man who had heard about this Jesus of Nazareth performing great wonders. And when Jesus asked him what it was that he desired, this man, who in Mark’s Gospel is known as Bartimaeus, replied, “Lord, please let me see.” And Jesus responded to him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” And the Gospel tells us that “He immediately received his sight…”
But then the Scriptures give us something extra. They give us an insight into the heart of this poor man himself – and if we are not careful, it is so easy to miss it – for we read that he “…followed him, giving glory to God.” He could have gone any other way, but instead he chose to follow Jesus’ way.
We hear nothing more of this blind beggar, who apparently became one of Jesus’ followers. But the story of God’s Love, the story of faith, the story of depending upon our Lord, the story of casting off what binds us to this world, and following and embracing the only Truth which truly matters – it is a story told countless times throughout the history of Christianity. It is a story of our relationship, our dependence upon Jesus Christ and His undeniable and indescribable Love for each and every one of us!
Can we say that the life of this blind beggar is any different from ours? Oh, we may not have been physically blind, as he was – but, for most people, at one point or another in our lives, many of us, including myself, have suffered from a spiritual blindness of one form or another, which prevented us from seeing the Divine Light of God’s Loving Presence in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
This brings to mind a true story of a young man who had approached me many years ago. And in the course of our conversation, he had mentioned that he had fallen far from the grace of God, as he was traveling down a path which was leading him into a great darkness.
He stated that he was walking through life blinded by his own sinfulness and the many addictions from which he suffered: alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual immorality. He told me he ended up in a state of considerable depression over the direction his life had taken.
His desire to even admit to his problems and share them with me became his first step in seeking healing for the many issues which were blinding his heart and soul. And just as this person in today’s Gospel cried out, “Lord, please let me see”, so too was this young man reaching out for his own healing.
How many of us, in today’s society, wander through life not able to see? How many of us are like this blind beggar, desiring to be healed in some fashion from some physical, mental, emotional or spiritual ailment which seems to have attached itself to us?
It is so easy for anyone to become blinded by the lures and attractions of this world, where we end up suffering spiritual blindness due to a self-love of pride and vanity, which ends up begetting arrogance, disobedience, and a lust for the idolatries that the prince of this world offers.
And today, in our First Reading from the Book of Revelation, we are warned that we cannot become lukewarm in our faith; we cannot coast through life thinking that just living the bare minimum of what is asked of us will suffice – “Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first.”
In other words, unless we recognize the evil that exists in so many different facets of our current culture, we can begin to backslide and end up like the beggar in today’s Gospel – blind, maybe not physically like he was, but most definitely spiritually blind! And it is a blindness which can incapacitate us, to the point of preventing us from seeking reconciliation with God, for we are either unable or refuse to recognize the blindness within ourselves.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, in his treatise on spirituality and theology, once wrote that “…blindness is a kind of preamble to sin”, for it does not wish to recognize its actions as sinful. And yet, in the midst of all this, God’s grace will not be outdone, as is the case of the true story about this young man I had mentioned earlier. Recognizing that he was already at “rock bottom” and wandering about blindly – in his own way, he cried out, as we hear in today’s Gospel, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
There are many today who have followed the lead of our late Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II, who found great importance and great solace in the message and the prayer of Divine Mercy. “Jesus, I trust in You” becomes a prayer which helps us to open our hearts to the healing Love of the Risen Lord, for it was given to us through Saint Faustina by our Lord, Himself!
It is important that we each turn to trust in God’s unfathomable Mercy; it is important that we begin to pray for protection from spiritual blindness, not only for ourselves but also for all our loved ones, and also for those who are suffering and have lost their way in this life.
In our life of faith as we continue our journey through this vale of tears, it is our continual focus on Jesus Christ which prevents us from becoming spiritually blind, for we have come to know and believe that it is only with God that all things are possible!
And it is only with God in our life, surrendering ourselves to His will, that we shall truly be able to see! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “…a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging…He shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!’ …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.’” (Luke 18:35b, 38, 40c-42)
- “He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God.” (Luke 18:43a)
- “Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first.” (Revelation 2:4-5b)
- “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD is his joy.” (Psalm 1:1-2a)
- “I will lead the blind on their journey; by paths unknown I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight. These things I do for them, and I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
- “The LORD sets prisoners free; the LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.” (Psalm 146:7c-8)
- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” (Luke 4:18)
- “Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can judge everything…” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15a)
- “Then Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see…’” (John 9:39ab)
Prayer for the Day
“Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient,
ever new, late have I loved You!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for You.
“In my unloveliness I plunged into the
lovely things which You created.
You were with me, but I was not with You.
Created things kept me from You;
yet if they had not been in You
they would have not been at all.
“You called, You shouted, and You broke through my deafness.Saint Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
You flashed, You shone, and You dispelled my blindness.
You breathed Your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for You.
I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for Your peace.”