Daily Reflection
November 15th, 1999
Maureen McCann Waldron
The Collaborative Ministry Office
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1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
Psalm 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
Luke 18:35-43

How badly do we want it?  How much do we desire salvation and the love of Jesus?  That’s the question in today’s gospel.  The blind man sitting by the road outside of Jericho hears that Jesus is going by on his way to Jerusalem and knows that Jesus can be his salvation.  Does he sit quietly as I might, trying to figure out how I could fix this all myself and not have to ask for help?  No.  He wants healing very much so he yells out into the crowd to Jesus.

How embarrassing!  Yelling out loud for help?  Would we really admit in front of a whole crowd of people that we can’t do it ourselves?  Drawing attention to a weakness, a flaw in us, simply to get closer to Jesus?

But even when he is hushed by those at the front of the crowd, the blind man knows what he wants and is unafraid of asking for it boldly.  He yells out again and Jesus hears him this time and asks him a very simple question, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Jesus, with his warm, deep and limitless love and his desire to heal us from our blindness, is ready to help and heal us anytime we ask. 

“I want to see,” the blind man responds to Jesus.  Isn’t this something we all can ask of Jesus?  Don’t we all want the kind of vision it takes to see how God works through the suffering and weaknesses in our lives? 

But maybe instead we watch as Jesus walks by on the way to Jerusalem, on the way to his suffering and death and we hold back, remaining silent.  “If I go with him on that road to Jerusalem, it will mean suffering for me.”  We fear the pain and are afraid to face people who don’t want us to cry out loud for help.  But aren’t we also missing the healing love of Jesus who wants to care for us in our own suffering?

I have a friend who has received the gift of a remarkable new ability to see things, ever since he was told he has only a short time to live.  He speaks with a new depth and with moving insights.  He sees the world around him with clear eyes and appreciates the smallest miracles of nature.  He knows that how we treat each other is the only thing that really matters in life.  He no longer has time to pretend he doesn’t feel things, he doesn’t want to waste time not telling people how much they mean to him.  My friend has been healed of the blindness most of us have during our lifetimes.  He is now free to see where he is going and as I watch him follow Jesus on the road to Jerusalem, I have to decide whether I want to go with them, or to stay by the side of the road in my blindness.

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