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Blind Faith – Friday of the First Week of Advent
Friday of the First Week of Advent
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
Opening Prayer: Lord, I believe in you, but often my faith is darkened by my doubt and misunderstanding. I often feel blind but you can heal my spiritual blindness. Lord, give me the faith of the blind men. Son of David, have pity on me!
- How Did They Know?: Perhaps your first question when reading this passage is, “How did these men know Jesus was passing by?” Most likely, someone told them about Jesus before the crowd approached that day. They knew enough about Jesus to believe that he was the promised Messiah and had the power to cure them. Who told them? Imagine… if they’d never heard about Jesus, they would probably have missed their opportunity for a cure that day. When we speak Christ’s name to someone or share an experience of him, we plant a seed that may dramatically impact someone’s life, whether we know it or not.
- Blind but Believing: These men were blind but not embittered. Their hearts were open and eager to encounter Jesus, whom they called “Son of David,” a Messianic title. We are not physically blind, but we can be spiritually blind when we let life’s difficulties harden our hearts instead of seeking out the Messiah to cure what ails us. In the face of suffering, our response is, “Jesus, Son of David, I trust in you.”
- “See That No One Knows about This”: Christ knew that word of this miracle would eventually spread, but his admonition is a reminder to us that he wasn’t doing good for the sake of popularity, but rather for the healing and redemption of the lost sheep of Israel. He was doing his Father’s work. When we accomplish the Father’s works, let’s remember Christ’s humble example and refer all glory to God, building his Kingdom and not our own.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, grant me faith like that of the two blind men in the Gospel. Even though I can see, I often feel spiritually blind–open my eyes to your reality, so that I may be a humble apostle of your Kingdom.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will find a moment to pray the Prayer of Self-Offering: Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess you have given me. I surrender it all to you to be disposed of according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.–Saint Ignatius of Loyola 1491-1556
For Further Reflection: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31:
“But they, going out, spread His fame.” Some Protestant writers maintain that they sinned, in thus openly violating our Lord’s positive injunction. However, it is more generally held, that they did not sin; for, many of the Holy Fathers hold, with St. Chrysostom, Theophylact, St. Jerome, Venerable Bede, and St. Gregory, that our Lord did not moan to enjoin this on them absolutely; but that He meant to repress their first emotions of gratitude, so that the knowledge of the miracle would only gradually reach the people. No doubt, He acted from feelings of humility, and with a view to teach us to avoid all ostentation and vain glory. Hence, they, looking to our Redeemer’s motive and intention, rather than to the strict meaning of His words, published it in good faith, from feelings of gratitude, believing it would redound so much to the glory of their Benefactor, when the people were made aware of His goodness and power in these miracles. Our Lord acted from motives of prudence also. The more stupendous the miracle, the greater the hostility of the Pharisees, with whom He did not wish, at the time, to come into open collision, nor would it suit His designs, to be now delivered up by them. His prohibition regarding publicity, only extended to raising the dead, or restoring sight to the blind, as these works, being beyond the reach of natural agency, would expose Him to greater odium and peril.”
Br. Brian Flanagan, LC, is a seminarian studying classical humanities with the Legionaries of Christ in Cheshire, Connecticut. He is from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been in the Legion since 2016. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.