Vision & Vitality
The richness of the Advent season continues to gradually unfold for us and our needy world. Today’s Gospel selection presents Jesus dealing with the blindness of two men who cried to Him for help. Jesus asked about their faith in Him and his power to heal — and with their statement of faith, they were cured! With that miracle, word of Jesus’ activity spread throughout the land.
Humanly, the lack of sight / vision: a real burden! To miss seeing people, the beauties of nature, movies, television – even this computer page – is challenging, if not threatening. We may close our eyes for some moments and try to imagine the experience of totally blind people, but our experience is limited: we simply open our eyes and see again! Even trying to see without necessary eyeglasses or contact lenses is frustrating for us.
The Scriptures frequently present personal sinfulness in terms of blindness, and redemption in terms of renewed sight. At Baptism, our eyes were opened to “see” the Lord Jesus in faith. For many of us our Baptism event was years ago; today’s Advent Season celebration asks us: What about our “sight”? Are our eyes open? Do we see Jesus present today, offering love and redemption?
God is present to us everywhere, in the air we breathe, in nature – and especially in people. God’s joy radiates in the smile of an infant, God’s acceptance in the affection of a young child, God’s vitality in the energy of an adolescent, God’s power in the strength of an athlete, God’s beauty in the loveliness of a human being, God’s concern in the devotion of a parent or the ministry of a medical professional, God’s wisdom in the experience and insight of the elderly. Advent invites us to pause to look more deeply at life and faith…what “sights”!
Advent 2020 calls us not live hindered by darkness and gloom – even in these Pandemic times. With the two blind men, we’re invited to profess our faith in Jesus, to acknowledge His loving presence, to serve Jesus and our sisters and brothers with eyes wide open. Today’s responsorial psalm reassures us: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?…wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.” Good News for our pandemic-challenged world!
“Come, Lord Jesus. Help us to see with the eyes of faith!”
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the Vocation Director for Holy Cross Province. He lives at St. Vincent Strambi Community in Chicago, Illinois.