Posts Tagged ‘Healing Spiritual Blindness’

Healing Blindness in Today’s World

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jer 31: 7-9, Heb 5: 1-6, Mark 10: 46-52

By Deacon Larry Brockman


How strong is your faith?  Are you willing to give up everything to cure your blindness?  That’s what the blind man did in today’s Gospel- he gave up everything because he believed that Jesus could cure him of his blindness.


Now you might say, “We’ll, what did he really have to lose;  After all, he was desperate”?  But you see, he stood to lose his cloak; and a cloak, in first century Jerusalem, was a critical possession.  It was protection against the elements- like wide swings in temperature and winds; and it doubled as a blanket at night.  Because he was homeless, that cloak was Bartimaeus primary protection.  It may have even been his only possession.  It was unthinkable for him to drop it, and walk away because he might never be able to recover it.  Indeed, Bartimaeus stood to lose whatever stability he did have in the world if he lost that cloak.  He stood to lose everything.  But Bartimeaus did just that- dropped it and walked away from it!  That’s how deep his Faith was in the power of a man he couldn’t even see- all on faith, a promise of something literally and figuratively unseen.


Now the faith Bartimaeus had in Jesus was all word of mouth from others as well.  So, something they told Bartimaeus must have really moved him.  Perhaps it was because he could see with his heart what others did not see with their senses- that Jesus’ message was different, not like that of the Pharisees.  It was compelling; revolutionary; and gave real and lasting meaning to life; and so Bartimaeus decided to take the risk, stepping out of what little comfort zone he had.  Because of the Faith he had in Jesus, he was cured of his physical blindness, and then he followed after Jesus.


Now most of you don’t consider yourselves blind.  So what does this have to do with you?  Well, you know something; there are all kinds of blindnesses.  And I suspect that all of us could benefit by recognizing our blindnesses, and doing something about them.  Let me just talk about blindnesses that we might have.  


Some of us are blind to how our society is becoming more and more secular; how our values are slowly eroding away.  Maybe it’s because we are too busy working or caring for our families, or just trying to deal with life’s trials, like illnesses, our children’s events, sports, and social activities.  And so, we hear about things, but we really don’t see them in the proper context; and we don’t step out of our comfort zone to cure them.  Bans on school prayer, holiday trees rather than Christmas trees; the push for gay marriage rights; public funding of abortion; the HHS mandate forcing Churches and their institutions to cover immoral procedures and drugs- these are all evidence of eroding public morality.  Our Church teaches that acts like abortion and gay marriage are intrinsically evil, and must always be opposed by Catholics in good standing.   But some of us are passive, inactive, yes even blind to these things and their consequences.   

When we are blind to what God’s natural law is.  Then we are blind to the disastrous affects that changes in our values on marriage and life have on our society.  But they are leading society to acceptance of Euthanasia and alternate family styles that are contrary to God’s plan.  That kind of blindness does harm to the body of Christ.  To correct it, we need to realize our blindness and step out of our comfort zone to act.


Secondly, consider our situation compared to the third world.  We consume at an ever faster rate and dump unspeakable amounts of garbage and waste- like plastic bags that virtually never degrade which clog our oceans and water ways, killing birds and animals along the way.  Meanwhile a very large percentage of the World’s population lives in poverty.  Millions are starving; millions can’t read or write; millions have inadequate shelter.  And while we pride ourselves that slavery is gone; many human beings are tricked by unprincipled people into the slavery of human trafficking.  Yet these offshore poor and the victims of human trafficking are ought of sight; out of mind.  Yes, it’s another form of blindness. 


The blindnesses that I just mentioned have a common theme- they are all characterized by a form of self-centeredness  A sort of tunnel vision which keeps us from seeing the reality of the larger world- a larger world that we are all called to see and to respond to.  Most of us are in some kind of comfort zone, and don’t really want to step away from it to do something.   

Today, Jesus is calling all of us to do what Bartimaeus did- to throw off the protective cloak that keeps us in a safe haven; that protects us from things we would rather not see or deal with; and through Faith, resolve to open our hearts and minds to see these things as they really are so we can do something about them. 


It’s a tall order, and it is hard to see what we can do that would really make a difference or even how we can get started.  But, the very first step is actually very easy- it is prayer.  Ask Jesus the very same thing that Bartimaeus asked Him: “Master, I want to see”.  Because when you do that, Jesus will respond, as in the Gospel: “Go your way, your faith has saved you”.  And you have only to follow the urgings of the Lord in good faith, he can and will do the rest through you.