WORD of the DAY
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking. (Mark 8: 23-24)
The disciples bring a blind man to Jesus. Jesus leads the man outside the village of Bethsaida. There He touches him and asks if he sees anything. The man now sees something…shadows that move. They look like trees. The passage from total darkness to a bit of light is enough to enable his capacity to interpret, to decode, to recognize. This could have been enough. However, Jesus completes the miracle. He tells the man to keep quiet about the miracle and to go home secretly.
There immediately follows the dialog with His closest friends to whom Jesus asks: “Who do you say that I am?” Why this question immediately after the miracle of healing the blind man? Perhaps it is a reference to the ability to see Him, to look at Him, and to recognize Him as the Christ? Or the temptation to see Him with partial sight, remaining attracted only from the point of view of His humanity, without intuiting that He is God’s Son? Perhaps the miracle in two stages is the metaphor of our conversion that is never total and immediate, but only progressive, sustained by God’s grace, but also by our effort to continue to see, to seek, to intuit, to discern.
Lord, give us the humility to recognize that we are blind; to accept the help of those who can lead us to Jesus. Give us the humility to realize that a light is dissipating our darkness. Give us the humility to accept the fatigue of moving ourselves, of seeking and discerning even with just a little light. Then we will arrive at the full light and we will be freed of the weight of our presumption. We will be happy knowing You.
The voice of a Theologian
This is a strange miracle. Jesus works it in two stages, with difficulty. Perhaps we can give this miracle a spiritual interpretation. Jesus is gathered with the people in the desert; He feeds them with the bread of salvation; He gives them the strength to go on. This is the miracle of Jesus, but how hard this miracle is! How hard it is for Jesus to make a Christian of me…how much resistance He finds! How much work to save a creature, to make the blind see! It almost seems that we prefer to remain blind.