The Gospel account today has Jesus restoring sight to a blind man. In order for the miracle to have any meaning for our lives, we need to dig beneath the surface. We may not be physically blind, but it is precisely because we are not blind that the story has relevance for us. The question we need to ask is: how well do we see?
The blind man in the Gospel account saw more than the religious leaders, in the sense that he had more faith in Jesus than they had. The Pharisees had perfect physical eyesight, but were blind when it came to acknowledging who Jesus was.
To see well, good vision alone is insufficient. Blindness is not something that affects the eyes only, as there are many other forms of blindness.
- Selfishness blinds us to the needs of others.
- Insensitivity blinds us to the hurt we are causing others.
- Snobbery blinds us to the equal dignity of others.
- Pride blinds us to our own faults.
- Prejudice blinds us to the truth.
- Hurry blinds us to the beauty of the world around us.
- Materialism blinds us to spiritual values.
Superficiality blinds us to a person’s truth worth and causes us to judge by appearances.
We do not only see with our physical eyes but with our mind, our heart, and our imagination. A narrow mind, a small heart, an impoverished imagination, all of these lead to a loss of vision, bring darkness into our life, and give us a narrow world view.
It has been said that the greatest tragedy is not to be born blind, but to have eyes and yet fail to see. But there is an even worse situation: to have eyes and refuse to see. The latter was the situation the Pharisees found themselves in.
The most important eyes of all are the eyes of faith. The blind man had his eyes opened to the light of faith, while the Pharisees, though physically able to see, became more spiritually blind. Their progressive blindness was caused by their refusal to see.
The blind man’s journey from blindness to sight symbolizes the journey from unbelief to faith, which is a journey from darkness to light. Physical sight is a wonderful gift that should never be taken for granted. But faith is a deeper and more wonderful way of seeing things.
Those who have been enlightened by Christ can never see themselves and their lives in the same way as before. Everything is lit up with an inner radiance. Seeing things through the eyes of faith helps us to find our way through the messiness, confusion, and darkness of the world in which we live.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, may we have the courage to ask the question: how well do I see? If our sight is somewhat blinded or dim, may we have the courage to ask Jesus to increase our faith, just as his disciples did.
— Fr. Dennis, March 26, 2017