There are three parts of this morning’s Gospel that we should highlight. The first is that the blind man is petitioning the Lord for His help. The lesson from this is that we should never feel guilty or selfish in our continuous requests for assistance from God.
At times we become so overwhelmed with our cares, that we stop our appeals. This may occur out of frustration, a sense of futility, distraction, or weakness of faith.
This sense of frustration directly leads to the meaning of our second highlight, which is the reaction and rebuke of the crowd. The crowd, in its frustration to quiet the blind man – actually censured the man’s faith, attempting to get him to stop and go away. We too, at times, may feel the frustrated rebuke of our own wills which, like the crowd, is molded by the consequences of Original Sin.
Rather than scream at us, our wills may quietly yet incorrectly whisper in our ears that our prayers are not heard, and that we should stop, and retreat, from the Lord’s presence. This, in turn, leads to the Gospel’s final highlight which contradicts our inclination to retreat and run away from prayer. You see, the blind man gives witness to the importance of courageous personal faith. He shows us that the public rebuke by the crowd did not discourage him because he had faith.
How do we obtain the faith of the blind man? The answer is simple to say, but difficult to implement, because we must first acknowledge that we, too, are needy. The blind man knew that he was in need of Jesus’ healing power, His grace, and he didn’t allow the screams of his own anxiety, or that of the crowd, deter him from petitioning Jesus.
The blind man engaged his heart, mind, and will to not only petition but to believe that the Lord would respond and heal him. His actions, in their clarity and simplicity, are a model for us, too.
As we approach our Thanksgiving holiday, let us remember to give thanks not only for our material blessings – but for the most important spiritual one – the joyful knowledge that our baptismal faith in the Lord and His Holy Sacraments have healed us from the darkness of sin and given us the ability to see the saving power of Jesus in our own lives.
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