Homily: Friday, December 6, 2013
“When He was about to enter the house, the blind men caught up with Him”. Haven’t you wondered: how could the blind men catch up with Jesus unless Jesus slowed down for their sake? Most probably, Jesus heard their shouting; He knew what they needed; He tested their faith and trust in Him. Then, He healed them. The Gospel today, somehow, describes also our own story of blindness, our own struggles of faith and our own experience of healing.
Our stories of blindness. What kind of blindness do we suffer from in life? Ignorance of God’s love for us? Such ignorance is caused by our excessive and disordered love of self. We cannot see how much God loves us because we see only ourselves. Mafalda, a comic strip written and drawn by Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, which depicts the Latin American middle class and progressive youth, once exclaimed: “Do not be so selfish. Think also of me!” The reason we become blind to the love of God is that we excessively and disorderly love ourselves.
Lack of forgiveness also blinds us from seeing the inherent good in people around us. Our biases and prejudices prevent us from discovering something new, something good in the events, places and people we meet each day. We need also to call on Jesus and say: “Jesus, Son of David, help us!”
Our struggles of faith. When we are blind, we move very slowly for fear of bumping into something. Blindness makes us become insecure in our movement. Every move is a struggle. Faith also becomes a struggle because we don’t clearly see what we believe in. We accept as true what is told us not because we have discovered this truth by ourselves, but simply because we trust in Him who reveals this truth to us. He will not deceive us. Nor will He deceive Himself.
Blind persons are the most trustful people. They just entrust their movements – indeed, their lives – to their guides. That is why, we can easily identify ourselves with the two blind men in the Gospel today. In our faith, we are likened to these blind men. We struggle to believe. That is why, we can hear Jesus asking us every day: “Do you believe that I am able to do what you want?”
Every time we encounter difficulties and trials in life, doubts and big problems, let us recall the words of Jesus: “Do you believe that I am able to do what you want?” When we are jobless, loveless, and hopeless; when we are doubtful, revengeful, and resentful, let us hear Jesus say: “Do you believe that I am able to do change you?” Then, we respond Him saying, “Yes, Lord. You can do it. I trust in you. But don’t trust me”.
Indeed, believing becomes a real struggle because we tend to trust more in our own efforts rather than in Jesus. We trust more on our own understanding of reality rather than on what Jesus tells us. We trust more in our own opinion, in our own judgment, in our own decision rather than in the truth proclaimed by the Church, or the moral judgment and decision of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
Our experience of healing. No weakness, no defects, no handicap of ours can prevent us from reaching Christ. The blind men were able to catch up, not because they were simply able to do so, but because Jesus waited on them. Our Lord adjusts to our limitations and waits for us to catch up with Him.
Our awareness of our defects can sometimes slow down our pace, our steps towards Jesus. But we should never stop walking because we know that Jesus will initiate the encounter. He will wait for us because He is as interested as we are of our healing. We know that Jesus is very interested to heal us because He promised it in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, in the First Reading: “On that day the deaf will hear the words of the book, and out of the dark and obscurity the eyes of the blind will see”.
Jesus does even more than just simply waiting for us: when we are struck down by discouragement and fear, or are being paralyzed by life’s tragedies (like the Yolanda), He walks toward us to meet us. When we are down, He comes to us. He accompanies us. He heals us!
But in order to be healed, we have to let Jesus heal us. He is very willing to forgive our sins but we need to go to the Sacrament of Confession. Have you see a picture of Jesus knocking on a door without a knob? Traditional interpretation says that Jesus cannot open the door of our hearts from the outside. We must open it from the inside.
Although this is true, we must say that even with doors without knobs, Jesus makes the initiative of reaching out to us. He even broke into the closed doors of the room where His disciples were gathered just to be with them.
Now, after having been healed by our Lord, we must spread the news about Him to all the people we meet every day. Why? Because as Pope Francis wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept His offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness” (EG, 1).
My dear friends, we want to be set free from the blindness of sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. Hence, we call out to Him: “Lord, help us!” We want to rediscover the joy of believing. That is why we say to Him: “Yes, Lord, we believe that you can heal us”. We want to share the joyful experience of God’s healing touch. So we spread the Good News of Jesus to the people around us. Call out to Jesus. Believe in Jesus. Live and share Jesus.