I still find myself navigating a post-pandemic world. Still taking in the shock of what was so deeply lost. But also so aware, maybe for the first time, of how tactile Our Lord was to anyone that asked. Jesus used His Voice, but he also used His Hands. Touching, holding, healing, continually moving place to place to open the doors within each heart. During a time when the world was changed, is still changing, many of us were asked to go deeper inward. Are we still carrying those feelings of loss? Am I? Or have new ways risen from within?
There are two ending places I have known, where I now see as a new beginning.
“Go in peace, lo love and to serve the Lord”
“And to amend my life. Amen.”
We know these words as Catholics. Many times, said so completely heartfelt in the moments after receiving the Body of Christ the final words from the priest, and His Absolution in Confession.
But what happens in how we meet the world again when we walk out the door? Or when we leave the door of confession after laying down the sorrow we carry? Struggling to follow the ways we so hoped as we move back into the world.
As I read this unique and short Gospel, new words arrived in my heart this time.
I am learning the small parts of a greater story hold so much more than we can imagine.
Jesus takes the blind man out of the village and tells him to return to his home after laying his hands on his eyes twice and gifting sight. Then saying, “Do not even go into the village”
How many times have I left confession truly feeling the grace of what was shared. Yet the hardest part can be to carry it forward. I had never seen this until today. We are asked over and over by so many around us to be a part of the world that in some ways no longer makes sense.
Once we let you in Dear Lord. Once we welcome You fully. Once we say “yes”!
How then can we remain quiet, patient, trusting and still?
Eyes opened to all You have gifted.
For some, this may take a lifetime of returning. For other’s a single day.
But sometimes the gifts are heard when they are not easily seen.
Jesus is already fully open to the wideness of God’s Love. But we, like the disciples, need to find the courage to see.
“Then He sent one who was healed to his home. Saying, “do not even go into the village.”
This passage I believe had Jesus preparing His chosen apostles to prepare for all to come.
I imagine Him now saying to me. I am giving you the Gift above all gifts.
My Love and tender Mercy for each human being on earth.
How can we learn to fully gift from our hearts knowing I have Jesus Christ truly within me.
New ways rising always, new beginnings.
M. J. Walsh, laity, with deepest thanksgiving for all the Passionist community. With a prayer for vocation.