Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time, February 19
May Our Lord Open Our Eyes, Revealing to Us His Healing Presence in Our Lives, and May God’s Spirit Fill Us with the Spiritual Sight Necessary to Always Walk According to His Truth.
In today’s Gospel, we read an account which we find only in the Gospel of Mark –
“He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ Looking up the man replied, ‘I see people looking like trees and walking.’ Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.”
This event is also unique in that it takes Jesus two tries for the healing to be completed. One may ask what the Evangelist was trying to teach us in this particular passage. All four Evangelists were interested in presenting to their readers the deeper meaning of the physical healings performed by our Lord, for they also symbolized spiritual healing.
This passage in today’s Gospel begins to take on a particular significance when we also reflect upon what we read in yesterday’s Gospel. While in the boat on their way to Bethsaida, Mark portrays Jesus as scolding the disciples for their failure to understand His reference to “the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod”, and He asks, “Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?”
Clearly, our Lord is not referring to physical blindness here. He is using the experience of sight metaphorically, the way we do when we ask “Do you see what I’m saying?” It is the seeing of understanding and believing. It is the sight which leads to faith.
Once we make that connection, we can begin to understand why Mark placed this odd two-stage healing of the blind man of Bethsaida right before the question which Jesus poses to His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” which we will read in tomorrow’s Gospel.
Jesus was showing His disciples how a lack of faith can lead to spiritual blindness, and that regaining our sight may not always be a simple process, but one which asks of us to open our hearts to the wonders of God’s Presence around us.
Once we have been able to accept that God’s Love envelopes all things, embraces all creation, only then can we begin to realize that God’s Presence exists also within each and every one of us. Only then can we truly begin to spiritually see in the way our Lord invites us to see and understand.
The walk of faith for those who followed Jesus was much like our own journey at times today. Their spiritual sight came in stages, and it was not until the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that they were truly able to see and understand all that our Lord had taught them.
God’s Love works within us at a pace He knows is best for our ability to understand and accept, especially when we have experienced some of the worst that life has to offer, be it personal grief over the death of loved one, or the end of a long term relationship resulting in separation or divorce, being notified that you or a loved one has a very serious health issue which is terminal, even financial woes due to the loss of employment which can result in the loss of one’s home or worse.
All of these emotions can leave us devastated, and we may, for a short period of time, lose sight of our faith, because it is not uncommon for one to ask “Where is God?” in those conditions of our life which can overwhelm and affect our emotional and spiritual well-being.
But God’s hand has never left us and will always be upon us. In the midst of all the anxieties of life, He will always remain with us at our side, offering us the healing that we need over time. Our faith must be patient, and our spiritual sight must always remain opened to God’s providential Love which He has for both you and me.
But for our spiritual sight to remain attuned to God’s Presence within us, it is important that we focus ourselves upon His will for us in our daily walks of faith. And Saint James brings this to mind in our First Reading today, where we read, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”
Anyone can “talk the talk”, as the old adage states, of being a follower of Christ Jesus, but to truly place into practice all that He has taught us and the many examples He has given us, as we read in the Gospels and are further explained to us in the Acts and the Epistles, and taught to us through the teaching authority of the Church, then we must truly make the effort of “walking the talk” in our daily lives.
In other words, our spiritual sight must be fed and strengthened by truly living our faith, not only in those times when everything seems to be going well for us, but also when the cross we sometimes bear seems overwhelmingly heavy.
Opening our hearts and embracing all that life throws at us, realizing that God is guiding us through both the good times and bad, focusing ourselves on all that our faith teaches us, then, as Saint James tells us today, “…the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts; such a one shall be blessed in what he does.”
May our Lord open our eyes, revealing to us His healing Presence in our lives, and may God’s Spirit fill us with the spiritual sight necessary to always walk according to His Truth, strengthening us so that we may not stumble in the darkness of sin which surrounds us constantly – always remembering and believing in the words our Lord once spoke, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
May His Divine Light always shine before us, illumining the way for us to follow! †
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
- “[Jesus] took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ Looking up the man replied, ‘I see people looking like trees and walking.’ Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.” (Mark 8:23-25)
- “And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting…I shall…open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.’” (Acts 26:15b, 17-18)
- “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves… the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts; such a one shall be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22, 25)
- “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
- “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
- “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.” (Hebrews 10:23)
- “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay,’ but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
- “Jesus answered, ‘…If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.’” (John 11:9b-10)
- “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘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)
Prayer for the Day
“Holy Spirit of Light and Love,
You are the consubstantial Love of the Father and the Son;
You who sanctify within me my life of faith,
I humbly ask, hear my prayer:
“Bounteous Bestower of God’s most precious gifts,
grant me a strong and living faith,
which guides me to accept all revealed Divine Truth
and shapes my conduct in accord with them.
“Spirit of God’s Truth,
infuse into me a love of perfect goodwill,
so that I may act in accordance with God’s desire for me
throughout all the days of my life.
“Gracious Gift of the Father’s Love,
guide me to love not only my friends
but my enemies as well, in imitation of Jesus Christ
who, through You, offered Himself on the Cross for all peoples.
“Most Holy Spirit,
animate, inspire and guide me.
Help me to always be a true follower of Yours,
embracing all that You impart to me. Amen.”Anonymous