Seeing with Faith

Luke 18: 35-43
1Mc 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63 / Ps 119

Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.
(Luke 18:42)

God’s Word dispels the darkness of sin,
By its power, evil takes flight;
God alone heals our blindness within
In our prayer receive His light.

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. It was not the case with “those who led the way (who) rebuked him and told him to be quiet” (Luke18:39). These people were spiritually blind for censuring the poor beggar just because of his handicap. The Jews then had the erroneous belief that the poor and handicapped deserved their lot because of their sins or the sins of their parents. The disciples of Jesus once asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” (John 9:2) Our Lord healed their blindness by showing mercy to the beggar’s plight, saying for all to hear: “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you” (Luke 18:43).

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind” (John 9:39). It is significant to note that we can find no other account in the bible of a prophet or apostle healing a blind man. The apostles Peter and Paul performed many wonders, even bringing the dead back to life (Acts 9:40, 20:10-12), but only Jesus, as the “True Light of the human race” (John 1:3) “Who enlightens everyone” (1:9) can dispel the darkness of sin in the world. As He alone can judge us, He alone can make us “see”.

Our retreat facilitator in yesterday’s Advent recollection inspired us to examine our spiritual vision: do we have a 20/20 insight on the significance of the coming Yuletide season? If so, how are we preparing for the coming of Jesus? The blind man of Jericho had surely prepared 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 season of giving? 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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