As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In today’s gospel passage, the blind man knows very specifically how he wants to be healed; he desperately wants to see again. He is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth can heal him. In spite of the admonishments of those around him, the blind man cries out even more loudly, until he is heard.
If I place myself in the story, I have to consider what it is that I need to cry out to Jesus to heal. What are my afflictions? Limitations?
My daughter is preparing for her first reconciliation, and at our parish the parents participate in the sacrament right after their child. To truly prepare, I must attend to these questions of my own affliction and need for healing. Our faith, tradition, and God offer so many opportunities for healing and grace, but I don’t see myself in the shoes of the blind man all that often.
So I consider: What afflictions keep me from being in right relationships with those around me? What should I be crying out to Jesus to heal? Would I cry out even if others around me were admonishing me? How can I accept the healing grace offered to me so I can more fully participate in Advent?
—Elizabeth Collier has degrees from three different Jesuit universities, including a PhD in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago. She teaches at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
Lord, as we move through this day, we will reflect on the question you ask us: “What do you want me to do for you?” Certainly we have very tangible needs that concern us and even preoccupy our thoughts. We are grateful we can share these with you. We also have a foundational need that affects every aspect of our lives: our work, our relationships, our dreams, our fears, and our suffering.
Lord, we want and we choose what will deepen our life in you. This will be our greatest gift from you and our greatest gift back to you. Lord, may we be open to your Spirit that changes the ordinary into a sacred opportunity to extend your love to those who cross our path today.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!