Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gospel for Monday, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Margaret of Scotland
Optional Memorial: St Gertrude, Virgin

From: Luke 18:35-43

The Cure of the Blind Man of Jericho
[35] As He (Jesus) drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; [36] and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. [37] They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." [38] And he cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" [39] And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" [40] And Jesus stopped, and commanded him to be brought to Him; and when he came near, He asked him, [41] "What do you want Me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me receive my sight." [42] And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." [43] And immediately he received his sight and followed Him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

35-43. The blind man of Jericho is quick to use the opportunity presented by Christ's presence. We should not neglect the Lord's graces, for we do not know whether He will offer us them again. St. Augustine described very succinctly the urgency with which we should respond to God's gift, to His passing us on the road: "`Timeo Jesum praetereuntem et non redeuntem': I fear Jesus may pass by and not come back." For, at least on some occasion, in some way, Jesus passes close to everyone.

The blind man of Jericho acclaims Jesus as the Messiah--he gives Him the messianic title of Son of David--and asks Him to meet his need, to make him see. His is an active faith; he shouts out, he persists, despite the people getting in his way. And he manages to get Jesus to hear him and call him. God wanted this episode to be recorded in the Gospel, to teach us how we should believe and how we should pray--with conviction, with urgency, with constancy, in spite of the obstacles, with simplicity, until we manage to get Jesus to listen to us.

"Lord, let me receive my sight": this simple ejaculatory prayer should be often on our lips, flowing from the depths of our heart. It is a very good prayer to use in moments of doubt and vacillation, when we cannot understand the reason behind God's plans, when the horizon of our commitment becomes clouded. It is even a good prayer for people who are sincerely trying to find God but who do not yet have the great gift of faith.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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