November 15, 2021
by Cindy Murphy McMahon
Creighton University's Office of Marketing and Communications
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thirty-third Monday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 497

Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
Psalm 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158
Luke 18:35-43

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Today’s Gospel reading is one that is very familiar to us. As I read and reread it, prayed about it and did some research, several thoughts came to me on what takeaway blessings it might impart to us today.

No. 1. Pay attention to what is going on around you and be curious. The blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, as he probably did frequently. Luke tells us, “Hearing a crowd go by, he inquired what was happening.” He could have gone about his routine, waiting for the dust to settle after the boisterous crowd went by. But instead, he asked what was going on. He was curious. Because he asked that question, his life was changed for the better and he became immortalized forever in the New Testament.

To me, this is encouragement to be open, to be interested, to ask questions. If we don’t pay attention to what is going on around us, and we don’t want to seek new experiences and information, we may miss something God has in store for us. At the very least, we will stay exactly where we are instead of growing.

No. 2. Listen to your instincts if you think something is the right thing to do. Listen to your inner voice. The minute others told him that Jesus was passing by, he began shouting out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” Be tenacious. If you sense God is present, go for it. Others tried to silence him, but he sensed this was something special and he did not want to miss the opportunity. He was relentless in pursuing a possible blessing.

No. 3. Know what you need and don’t be afraid to ask God for it. The fact that Jesus asked him what he needed shows us that God is interested in fulfilling specific needs we have. Jesus did not just assume what the man needed. He asked the blind man what it was that he wanted. He asked the man to look inside himself and name his greatest need. This tells me that God wants us to know ourselves intimately and accurately, and to prayerfully seek God’s will in all matters that concern us.

No. 4. Remember the Giver and give God the glory. How often do we pray for something and move right on to the next request, the next problem, after giving God a quick thank you for a successful outcome? Others in the Gospels (the nine other lepers come to mind) went off enjoying their gifts from Jesus without returning to thank Him, let alone follow Him, but this man “followed Him on the way,” and no doubt his life was changed in many ways that were more eternal than receiving his physical sight.

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