Faith That Saves
November 15, 2021 (readings)
- Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
- Beth Van de Voorde
Now as he approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He replied, "Lord, please let me see." Jesus told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you." He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come before you to spend this time in prayer with you. Open my heart to hear and receive the word that you wish to speak to me today. I believe that your desire to spend this time with me is infinitely greater than mine. Even still, let my desire for you grow just a bit more today. I trust in you, and I love you, Lord. Let my faith, hope, and love grow.
Roadside Beggars: This blind man must have spent a lot of time sitting beside that road on the way to Jericho. The other townsfolk had probably gotten used to his presence and his occasional shouts from his mat begging for alms or a bite to eat, or maybe just asking for the gossip of the day. He could have just blended into the hustle and bustle of daily routines and important things that occupied the minds and hearts of many that day, as Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. But something in his heart prompted him to reach out, in spite of the others shushing him. There was a thirst, a longing within him for sight, and years of darkness and solitude had not yet quenched the hope that this could be possible.
The Hidden Blessing of Blindness: How many years had this man suffered blindness, whether from birth or some accident? Only God knows. How he lived and learned to bear the burden of this suffering is a mystery to us, too. But perhaps over time he came to discover a hidden blessing in his blindness. Even though his world was filled with darkness, perhaps he alone, among all those scurrying the streets of Jericho that day, had true sight, the sight of faith. Perhaps his very blindness kept ever before his eyes the real desire of his heart: that he might see. And it was this faith which allowed him to recognize the Savior as he passed by. This faith gave him the confidence to ask for what he needed.
Faith’s Sight: The blind man could not see, but knew he was looked upon. This experience of being seen and known–accepted despite one’s imperfections and even cherished–is what allows the smallest seed of faith to grow. He could not see, but he knew he was looked upon. In this time of prayer, we, too, pause and sit beside the blind man, seeking a moment of silence in the hustle of my day. Is the Lord passing by? What blindness, darkness, or struggle weighs us down, tempting us to squelch our faith in loneliness and doubt? How can we get up and run to Jesus, let him look upon us, and receive in faith the hidden blessings Jesus wishes to give?
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, my blindness is not so different from this blind man’s. I, too, find doubts and temptations surrounding me, telling me to be silent, causing me to hesitate. But you are so good and you never tire of coming out to seek me. You draw close and ask me, “What do you want me to do for you?” Lord, please let me see.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will try to offer this prayer of petition in my heart throughout the day: Lord, please let me see.
For Further Reflection: You may wish to spend some time in prayer with the song Blessings by Laura Story, and let it illuminate some of the hidden blessings in your own life.
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