Seeing With Eyes of Love

Luke 18: 35-43
1 Mc 1:10-15.41-43.54-57.62-63 / Ps 119

What do you want me to do for you?
(Luke 18:41)

Our Lord can heal the blindness of sin
If we beg His mercy for our plight;
His Word dispels the darkness within
If we ask Him to restore our sight.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, I want to see.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:35-43)

Reflection

The man begging by the roadside might have been blind, but he was definitely not in the dark with regard to his faith. He believed that Jesus could heal him, and he had faith in His great mercy. Not so for “those who led the way (who) rebuked him and told him to be quiet” (Lk.18:39). These people were spiritually blind for censuring the poor beggar just because of his handicap. The Jews then had the mistaken belief that the poor and handicapped deserved their lot because of their sins or the sins of their parents. Jesus healed their blindness by showing mercy to the beggar’s plight, saying for all to hear: “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you” (Lk.18:43).

As we enter the season of Advent, let us give pause to examine our spiritual vision: does our faith have a 20/20 insight on the significance of preparing for the coming of our Savior? The blind man of Jericho had been preparing himself for the arrival of his Healer, and at the moment of Jesus’ passage, he shouted with all his might for the miracle that he believed was forthcoming. There are many Christians among us who still do not see the importance of Advent, their preparation consisting simply of planning what gifts to buy for their loved ones this Christmas. How about us, who are leading the way? How do we treat the beggars in the streets who seem to grow in number during the Yuletide season? Do we chastise them when they approach us with their crude caroling paraphernalia? Or do we open our gates or car windows, and like Jesus our Lord ask them, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Open our eyes, dear God, when we fail to see the message that our Lord Jesus wants to impart to us in His Gospel. Lead us from the darkness of our prejudices to the light of Your love and compassion to understand the true meaning of Advent. Amen.

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