Posted by: livingscripture | November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008 33 Monday of Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day


As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 

  (Luke 18, 35)


How should we live this Word


Jesus is headed toward Jerusalem, the place where His sacrifice will be consummated.  He reaches the doors of Jericho, the biblical city that had been conquered, not with force of arms, but by a direct divine intervention.  For those fleeing the slavery of Egypt, it represented the entrance to the holy land.  There, at the doors of the city, sat  a blind man, passively resigned to his fate.  He has neither name nor face.  What defines him is his handicap that places him at the margins of society and excludes him from entering the city.


Behind the image of this dejected individual, there is an endless series of faceless ones whom we meet every day among us, or in whom we may recognize ourselves.  Yes, we are all a little blind and we grope about in a society barricaded by the Jericho of various epochs.  They make useless attempts to defend themselves from the dearth of values leading to meaninglessness and the torment of knowing the fragility and limitations marking humanity.  It is even more tragic when they are less aware.  Only those who recognize their own blindness, those who do not call the darkness light, who do not extinguish the desire for the Light, can perceive the tenuous brightness that announces it and thus invoke it.


Only when our lips pronounce a cry for help can the prodigy of Jericho happen once again for us.  Then the useless and fragile walls of defense that we have raised at the personal, community, and social levels will crumble and we will be freed from the most poisonous slavery of all, that of sin.  Our eyes will then open to the joyful brightness of the Risen One, who generates us to new life so we may build the holy city of fraternal communion here and now.


Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will let Jesus’ gaze rest upon me and I will show Him my blindness and invoke His help.  Then, like the blind man of Jericho, I will renew my commitment to follow Him toward Jerusalem, the holy city that I am called to build in collaboration with Him and with all my sisters and brothers today.


Lord, open my eyes so that I may see the signs of Your presence in the world and the advance of Your Kingdom of which I am called to be builder and citizen. 


The Voice of St. Gregory the Great, Church Doctor


What the blind man desires from God is not money but the light.  Without this, all the rest seems of little value…let us not ask God for ephemeral wealth, material goods, fragile honors, but for the light.  Not the light that ends with the day, but that which knows no beginning and that time may never extinguish.

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