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Drawing Others to the Light
Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, Jesus, light of the world, so many people are blind to your goodness. So many cannot see their way through the darkness of their sufferings. Lord, we need your healing touch.
- Blindness of Others: “When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.” This blind man did not come by himself to seek healing from Jesus. Others brought him. We sometimes think it is our mission as faithful disciples to convince the unchurched of the truth of Jesus Christ. This Gospel teaches us a different way. We are called to bring others to Christ in friendship. We can do this through a friendly invitation to Mass, a retreat, or faith study. We can do this by witnessing to our Catholic identity in our words and actions. We can do this by bringing souls to Jesus in our intercessory prayers, asking the Holy Spirit to come into their lives.
- Our Blindness: “He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.” God will not usurp our free will, but he will provide us many opportunities to step out of our spiritual darkness. He can use a move to a new city, a stalled car, an illness or tragedy—any kind of circumstance that prompts us to give up our self-control and lean on him. When these situations happen, Jesus extends his hand to us. He wants to provide clarity, and restore peace and security in our heart. We let Jesus take our hand by trusting in his providence and recalling that he is with us. Jesus, I trust in you.
- Living in the Light of Faith: Jesus did not rush the blind man’s healing. Perhaps he was gently easing this man from total darkness into the fullness of light. Jesus is gentle with us, too. Conversion to discipleship is a lifetime process, and Jesus accompanies us intimately as we journey toward him. Our experience of his patience, kindness, and gentleness should inspire us to be patient with ourselves and others. After his healing, Jesus told the blind man, “Do not even go into the village.” In our conversion from darkness to the light of Christ, we don’t return from whence we came. We are new men and women in Christ so we resist the temptation to return to past sins. We strengthen ourselves by seeking out Jesus in the sacraments: frequently participating at Mass, receiving healing through the sacrament of Reconciliation, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, I want to follow you. I desire to be a faithful disciple. I feel inadequate leading others to you when I am so blind myself in many ways. Please inspire me to reflect your love and care for each soul I meet. May I bring them closer to you by my authentic witness as your disciple.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take your hand in situations where I feel out of control. I will also make an effort to be a helping hand for others, bringing them closer to you in friendship. Jesus, I trust in you.
For Further Reflection: Outside the Village (Healing a Blind Man) | Bethsaida by the Sea | Security from Magdala.org.
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic who seeks to make Jesus more loved through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, and motherhood, and as a writer, speaker, and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization ministry located in San Antonio, Texas.
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