Monday, November 14, 2016
If Jesus walked by us, if he came down the road, what would we cry out to him?
Would we ask him to give us a better job or a bigger house? Would we ask him to punish our neighbor? Keep out the riff raff?
Or would we cry out at all? Would we be too embarrassed to speak? Would we be too busy? Too skeptical?
Would we let him go by?
Because we do. We let Jesus pass us every day. Every minute.
No. We should cry out with all our hearts, and we should cry out what the blind man cries out: help me! Save me! Have mercy on me! We should be exactly that selfish, in that sense, too aware of our own sinfulness and our own need to judge anyone else.
And if Jesus stopped, as he always does, and if he turned to us, in particular, as he always does, and he asked us to say again what exactly we want him to do, to clarify our request, what would we say?
Do we really know what we want? Do we really know what we need?
No we don’t, and we should. Because what we need is what the blind man needs. What we need is to see.
The blind man’s request should be our request, too: to really see the world around us, and to face it, to see the darkness and see the light, to see what is really true, and not to change it, in a way, not to try to bend it to our will or make it over in our image, but to see it the way it really is, in all its stubborn complexity, in all its humanness. To see the need beneath the masks, the human soul beneath the skin, and the goodness, and the hope. To see ourselves for who we really are, no better than anyone else, loved by God, made in his image and likeness, infinitely precious in His eyes and yet small, limited, marred by sin, always, always in need of grace.
And to see Jesus in our midst, in the crowd, on the road and on every road, in us and in everyone, in every situation, every moment.
This is what we should ask for, and we ask for it now: to see you Lord, in the Eucharist. To you Lord, in our lives, this day.
O Lord and Master of our Lives, we pray with St. Ephrem, take from us the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust for power and idle talk.
Give rather to your servants the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love.
Yes, O Lord and King, grant that we may see our own faults, not to judge our brothers and sisters, for thou art blessed from all ages to all ages.