When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 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. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”
I find two things that can help us live this gospel. First, we need to bring our brothers and sisters to the Lord. And they need us. Second, God needs our cooperation, especially not to fall back into sin. It is important that we persevere in the newness that God has bestowed upon us, by our own choice, by our obedience to God's word and by our positive commitment to the fulfillment of God's word.
Action of the day: Bring people close to God.
“His sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly”
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Rubí, 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 “Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, ‘Do 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 he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly” (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.