DAILY HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF ADVENT.
THEME: THAT WE MAY SEE.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘Have mercy on us, Son of David.’
The Gospel passage of today (Matthew 9:27-31) presents the case of two blind men pleading for mercy. blindness was fairly common in the days of Jesus. We do not know if the cases were all the same, whether they were blind from birth, or were blinded in some way. But to be blind then, as at any time, was a terrible handicap. The self-righteous leaders in the days of Jesus would have added to the problem by accusing such handicapped people of being sinners whom God had punished. And, it is true, that there are cases in the Bible where blindness was a punishment from God; but it is also true that that was not the automatic explanation for Christ (John 9:1-5).
Blindness also was symbolic of spiritual ignorance, just as sight was symbolic of understanding. When God announced judgment on the nation of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, part of the judgment was that they would not understand the truth and not believe the message. In a word, they would be frozen in their ignorance and unbelief. God said, “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their hearts, and turn and be healed” (6:9-10).
Jesus used this same symbolism in some of His teachings. In John 9 Jesus healed the blind man, and found a good deal of opposition for it from the spiritual leadership. So Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (9:39). The Pharisees knew He was speaking about them, and so they said, “What? Are we blind too?” And He said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim that you see, your guilt remains”
In other words, some who have their physical sight are blind to the truth; they are spiritually blind. If they continue to refuse to believe, then like ancient Israel they would remain in their blindness. He has the authority to seal up their spiritual blindness as a judgment if they persist in it; let the blind remain blind still.
But there were those who were physically blind, and they wanted to see, and so they were healed by Jesus who gave them sight. Because faith was required of those who were blind and wanted to see, those blind people were interpreted by the evangelists to be symbolic or at least representative of those in the nation of Israel, spiritually blind and ignorant of the truth, who through faith received their “sight.” In other words, these men might have been blind, but because of their faith they could see better than others.
The cry for mercy by the two men is understandable, for it is one of the most basic cries for divine help in Scripture. “Mercy” in the Bible, sometimes translated with the idea of “grace” or “favour,” describes some act of compassion that is undeserved; a free gift, a kind act. It is usually reserved for prayers to God, such as in seeking forgiveness for sin, protection from enemies, healing from disease, or any other number of needs. In the human arena it can be used from an inferior or subordinate person to a superior or a master to request for pardon, favour, or general benefit. They clearly knew that this Jesus had supernatural power and authority, and so they persisted in following Him and seeking His mercy.
The two blind men got their healing. However, as in the case of 99% of ungrateful humanity, they never obeyed instructions after being healed. We always forget about what God requires of us the moment we get our blessings. You still wonder why we pray more when in trouble and become passive when things are going on well with us?
In our spiritual journey, we need God’s mercy that destroy every form of spiritual blindness. We need an encounter with Jesus that will change any negative conditions we may have found ourselves. We must never be reluctant to cry out to Jesus. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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