Eyes to See

– First week of Advent –

“Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’” [Matthew 9:29]

In the gospel today we encounter two blind men. They’ve heard that Jesus can heal the sick, and so they follow Jesus and call for him to take pity on them. Jesus touches their eyes and they are healed. Notice in the first instance that the two blind men recognise their need for healing and for Jesus who can heal. This raises a question for us all. Do we recognise our need for Jesus? Do we see that without him we are blind, lost and without hope? In a country like ours, it is easy to be lulled by our many creature comforts, into the sense that we are fine without God. As C.S. Lewis explained, “the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” The first thing we can learn from these two blind men is that we, like them, are in need of Jesus.

Their second action is also worthy of our attention. They follow Jesus and call for Jesus’ pity. We are called to do the same – to follow Jesus, to become his disciples, and to call on him for mercy, forgiveness, compassion and healing. We, like the blind men, need Jesus to open our eyes to see reality with the clarity that Jesus does.

Jesus responds to the blind men by healing their eyes. They were blind, but now they can see. They’re so excited, they talked about Jesus ‘all over the countryside.’ Just as Jesus healed their literal blindness, so Jesus can heal our spiritual blindness, and enable us to see the face of God in Christ. Again we see an example from the two now healed blind men about how to respond to Jesus’ healing. They tell everyone, even though at this point, Jesus asks them not to. In the same way, we are called to share the healing power of Jesus with all those around us. And unlike the blind men, Jesus hasn’t asked us to be quiet, instead he’s asked us to go and make disciples of all nations!

So let’s follow the example of these two blind men. Let’s recognise our need for healing, follow Jesus and ask him for his healing, compassion and mercy. Then when we have been healed, let’s share the joy of this encounter with all those around us.

By Peter Pellicaan

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