When Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, Jesus was asked to touch a blind man who was brought to him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had put spittle on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked, «Can you see anything?». The man, who was beginning to see, replied, «I see people! They look like trees, but they move around». Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly. His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly. Then Jesus sent him home saying, «Do not return to the village».
Even human encounter should produce mutual benefits and whenever there is a divine encounter, we come closer to God thus pays way to the divinisation of our human elements. In this process of divinisation, God will certainly benefit, because it’s here He brings the salvation to every individual.
One of the aspects which I continuously repeat is the pilgrim aspect of our faith. From inside towards the outside and from outside towards the inside, from darkness to light and from sinfulness to holiness, etc. It’s a systematic process and if we follow this process, then this transformation follows de facto.
Let’s look at today’s gospel for some useful elements. Jesus is taking this man outside of the village. This removing from here to there do signifies the importance of leaving our lieu of securities, particularly which are not helping us to grow, or which are hindering us to see the light, or to remain in conformity to the truth. We should come out of my joy, my peace, my pain to what God desires for me. We should allow God to let us out, though sometime we may not understand or accept this process. It is rather to say, allow God to act as God, not as I wish to be or in my way of understanding. We should give God this freedom, because God is the only one, who knows the truth and this truth will certainly enlighten or liberate us.
Once we allow God to act in His own way, then He will establish a personal relationship with us. In this interpersonal relationship, we will discover, not only the wonders that the Lord does in this world, but essentially how He works in and through us. To some it happens in the form of a miracle, a radical transformation, like Paul, but others, it may be like Peter, slowly but steadily. This blind man will get back his sight slowly, step by step. In every relationship, we should accord sufficient time to see the visible fruit. Faithfulness and patience go hand-in-hand. It is in this patience and fidelity that we will discover God and His wonderful work in us.
It is important that we note how today’s story ends. Jesus sends him back to his home with little warning. One way we can take it positively as, sending him to his own origin, to live a witnessing life, so that in his homecoming as a liberated person, his home dwellers, may discover, through his light, the light of the Lord and be saved. It can be taken in a negative way, as a warning of not to fall back into the old unhealthy habitudes, which may take away the light that the Lord has put in to our hearts. Or both of them together. Since our Christian life is a witnessing life, I wish to insist the witnessing life, which will indirectly help us not to fall back to the bad and unhealthy environments. Have a wonderful day.
«His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, with another miracle, Jesus shows us the process of faith. Curing the blind in two stages tells us that faith is not always an instantaneous light that falls upon us, but rather a certain itinerary that take us to the light and allows us to see clearly. Yet, the first step of faith—to begin seeing God's light— is already a reason for joy. Saint Augustine says: «Once the eyes have been cured, what else can we, o brothers, have more valuable? Let those who can see that light enjoy it, whether it flares in the sky or comes from a torch. And how unhappy should they feel those who cannot see it!».
Arriving to Bethsaida Jesus is asked to touch a blind man who is brought to him. It is significant that Jesus takes him outside the village; is that not an indication that to listen to the word of God, to discover the faith and see the reality of Christ, we have to get out of ourselves, out of the noisy spaces and times that asphyxiate and blind us, to receive the authentic enlightenment?
Once outside the village, Jesus «put spittle on his eyes, laid his hands upon him, and He asked, ‘Can you see anything?’» (Mk 8:23). That gesture reminds us of the Baptism: Jesus does not put any more spittle on our eyes but He completely bathes our being in the water of salvation and, all along our life, He questions us about what we see in the light of faith. «Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly» (Mk 8:25); this second time remind us of the Sacrament of Confirmation, when we are given the plenitude of the Holy Spirit to reach the maturity of faith and see clearer. To be baptized, but neglect the Confirmation, allows us to see, indeed, but only half way.