Seeing with the Eyes of Faith

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
Readings: James 1:19-27; Mark 8:22-26

The account of the cure in this evening's gospel is unique to Saint Mark. I suppose that's not particularly important, except to remark the gospel is a story told about us, and to Jesus, each of us is unique. Perhaps that's why Jesus calls the man away from the crowd this evening -- so that we will understand just how special we are, how very highly he regards us, and so we will know that no matter how dark things may be in our lives, his love is there to create a safe, intimate, and private space where ther's no one but him, and no one counts but us.

There's something else unique in this evening's gospel. This passage relates the only cure to take place gradually. I don't believe we can imagine this a question of Jesus' not "getting it right" the first time. What we're seeing here is Jesus leading a grown man step-by-step through a process of identification and cognition that, for the rest of us, begins at birth.

As I say, the man in this evening's gospel stands for us, and here, too, this passage shows us the immense love and consideration of Jesus at work in our lives. Our First Parents blinked back there in the Garden, and we've been blind -- or nearly -- ever since. Jesus is willing to take however long it takes to bring the light of his love into our lives.

It would be nice if we could respond once, and completely. But Christ's love is infinite and mysterious, so Mark presents the more likely picture, and that is that our enlightenment will take some time and the images will not be altogether clear -- at least not immediately. But at the same time, the gospel assures us, we have, in Christ, someone who has all the time it takes to make sure we don't mistake one another -- or him -- for the trees.

--by Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.

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