"Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction."
Then he touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith."
There is a story I heard once about a revered musician in his eighties, who, when asked why he still practiced 8 hours a day replied, "I’m finally beginning to see some progress!" This reminds me of how often when reading the lives of the saints they characterize themselves as sinners. My first thought is that someone that had been judged a saint by the Church and those around them would have made some progress beyond being a "sinner." And yet, it seems that after traveling the Way for a while, we tend to see more of our own faults instead of less. It’s as if with each passing year we get better at seeing how far we still need to go. And taken with Jesus’ admonition to, "remove the beam from your own eye first," I sometimes find myself almost paralyzed by the need to clean my own house before helping others. Truly, sometimes ignorance (the ability to ignore my own faults) is bliss.
But I can take heart from today’s readings. When I feel overwhelmed by my failings and faults the words from Isaiah remind me that I shall acquire understanding, I shall receive the instruction I need. I just need to remember that it will be according to God’s schedule, not mine. And when I feel I am traveling blindly on this journey we call life, when I feel I’ve lost my way and am stumbling in the dark, Jesus is there, asking what I desire. If I have the courage to ask for my eyes to be opened, it will be granted, according to my faith.
I pray today that when I feel discouraged or weighed down by my own failings I can remember to call upon Jesus to open my eyes, then step forward in faith and confidence that it will be granted, in God’s time.
Talib Huff is a volunteer and presenter at Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California.