Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time Father Scott Reilly, LC
When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, "Do you see anything?" Looking up he replied, "I see people looking like trees and walking." Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, "Do not even go into the village."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe you are leading me, but sometimes I sense insecurity creeping within me. So I renew my confidence in you once more. I know that you can desire only what is good for me. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. In return, take my love and my desire to please you in everything.
Petition: Deepen my humility and increase my trust in you, dear Jesus!
1. Jesus Leads: From the very get-go, we push ahead for self-sufficiency. Think of a little child who strives to walk by himself, without his parents helping him keep his balance. In the spiritual life, it's the opposite: We need to reach out to Christ for guidance, support and strength. Admitting our faults can be a humbling, but fruitful experience. Pride prevents us from doing this gracefully, but––have faith––if we do, Jesus will unleash his power within our lives. "Holiness is not in one exercise or another, it consists in a disposition of the heart, which renders us humble and little in the hands of God, conscious of our weakness but confident, even daringly confident, in his fatherly goodness" (St. Therese of Lisieux).
2. Patience, God has a Plan: "I want it now" is a modern cliché. Our wanting it now, though, doesn't always work with God. His plan is a plan for our greater good—even if it isn't our plan. The blind man's sight wasn't healed instantly, but gradually. How we want to be holy now and never return to the valley of filth and pride! Yet we seem to fall again and again. Holiness is always a work in progress, but that doesn't faze Jesus. He knows the power his grace can work in our lives. Simply turn your difficulties over to him and keep trying. Our failures teach us to be humble, and this can only bring us closer to God. "This I know very well: although I should have on my soul all the crimes that could be committed, I would lose none of my confidence; rather, I would hasten, with my heart broken into pieces by sorrow, to cast myself into the arms of my Savior. I know how greatly he loved the prodigal son; I have marked his words to Mary Magdalene, to the adulterous woman, to the Samaritan. No, no one could make me afraid, because I know to whom to cling by reason of his love and mercy. I know that all this multitude of offenses would disappear in the twinkling of an eye, as a drop in a roaring furnace" (St. Therese of Lisieux).
3. Humble Jesus: He tells the man not to go into the village. Is Jesus afraid or in a hurry? No, his humility simply beckons him to move on quietly without anyone knowing. Jesus is fascinated with humility and thus practices it. We, on the other hand, love to get the credit; we crave recognition. Simply enter a professional office and behold the recognition plaques lining the walls like wallpaper. Jesus had no plaques; he had only a reputation of doing good deeds. He teaches us the power of purity of intention, which shuns any type of self-aggrandizement.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, help me to abandon myself to your care; I trust in you completely. Knowing that I am weak and you are my strength gives me confidence. Help me to keep in mind that I am little and you are great. You are the one who deserves the glory, and you ought to be the protagonist in my life. Help me to go about quietly doing good like you.
Resolution: I will make an act of charity, praying, "Jesus, I do this only because I want to prove my love for you."