They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”
And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s reading, we see a man we know and love doing what we expect him to do. Seeing Jesus perform miracles time and time again, we grow closer to God through the gifts he gives – amazing gifts. Sight to the blind man of Bethsaida is no less impressive than other miracles, but something happens in the short passage that causes pause.
Jesus, in typical fashion, leads the man out of the village, spits in his hand, rubs the man’s eyes and poof! But the miracle is not yet complete. The man sees only partially and distorts what it is he can see.
With another pass, the man regains sight. Though there are likely many implications of the two-part miracle, consider focusing with me on patience. It was not Jesus’ lack of “power.” Perhaps Jesus taught us an additional lesson: faith and patience reveal wonders.
—Alan Ratermann is an English teacher and Director of Ignatian Service Programs at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lord Jesus, we are often impatient and want immediate results, whether it is finding out a test result, waiting for someone to text us back, or wanting an answer to a prayer. Grant us patience to wait for your perfect time in all things, and peace and comfort in times of anxiety. Like the blind man of Bethsaida, may we be willing to wait for the fullness of your work in our lives to be revealed. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!