November 17, 2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 18: 35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Reflection (Sem. Danichi Hui):

          What if one day you woke up and all of a sudden you find yourself blind and could no longer see? What would be your reaction? I guess it would be the same as mine, fear.

          In our gospel for today we heard about the healing of the blind man by Jesus. Blindness could be understood in two aspects; physical and spiritual. Physical blindness may be the absence of the sense of sight, but it leads to the profusion of other senses that would aid a blind person from relating to people. Like the blind man in the story, he developed a strong sense of hearing. He may not have seen Jesus but because he heard him, he easily recognized and believed him. He could have missed Jesus’ healing, if not for his sharp ear and great faith. A blind person has a strong sense of feeling, he knows where he is being led by mere feeling. He was courageous enough to shout and asked Jesus to have pity on him even though many people rebuked him and his plea. While Spiritual blindness comes in different context, it is the inability to notice, understand and integrate the spiritual dimension of life. And so to be spiritually blind means neither to be trustful nor to believe which is most likely discouraged.

          For the record, I myself used to be a blind man and it was during my early years. It was a time in our life when everything was abundant. We had a garment business and a grocery, cars and different properties. We were sent to exclusive schools and have our school service, tutors and maids who aided us in our school and everyday needs since my parents were so busy. When my parents were still starting their business, they would regularly go to Baclaran for novena and mass, this does not include the Sunday mass that we always attend. But as time passed and much blessings were given, little time were spent for prayers and until it was totally neglected already. We were into material things and did not notice that we were forgetting our obligation as Christians and that is to go to mass and pray. Things changed after a crisis came to our family. We had to sell everything we have and even left the house and garment shop we owned for so long and settle for a smaller one. My parents were bitter losing everything they had worked for. For a time I questioned God why did such thing had to happen to us? All the while I thought He was our provider and that He was good, but I was wrong and so I hated Him. I did not get any answers from God, so all the more I moved away from Him. It was the time when we do not have anything to be called our own anymore then I seek His help again. When I was so discouraged and was able to acknowledge that we do not have the control over our situation, I prayed again. After that crisis, only then I realized that God was teaching us how to value the things that He gave us and more so our relationship with Him that we took for granted as well. We may not have totally recovered the material things we had lost, but personally I had a better understanding of life now compared before and more so a better relationship with God.

          “It is not all the time we use our eyes to see, for it is only limited to physical things. There are things that only the heart could see because it goes beyond the physical and as deep as spiritual.” Now I realized that it is not only through our eyes we see and understand things. Most of the time, what is visible to the eyes is not visible to the heart, but what is visible to the heart illumines our understanding from which we may call faith. To have faith in God amidst blindness and disorder that are happening around us is what the Gospel tries to tell us, for it is also through our faith we could experience the healing and understanding we desire from God.

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