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.”
Just up the road live two horses, the male horse blind from an unfortunate accident. If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell that lets her blind friend know where she grazes and moves throughout the field.
As you stand and watch these two friends, you will see how she is always checking on him; he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is — trusting that she will not lead him astray. When the mare returns to the barn’s shelter each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend is not too far behind to hear the bell. (source unknown)
In the gospel account, we experience Jesus moving the blind man forward with great sensitivity. Twice Jesus must touch his eyes to bring forth the miracle of sight. When the man begins his new life in the village, how will his extraordinary moments with Jesus shape his life? Will he go forth empowered with profound gratitude and a greater yearning to serve?
Will the vividness of color and the endearment of seeing the expressions of those he cherishes grow commonplace? Will he be like the sweet horse ready to share the gentle sound of the bell or might he forget the stumbles and embarrassments and charge ahead focused on self?
In our own ways, Jesus has restored sight to us. We know it. And we must act on it. Wear your bell today. Someone needs to hear it.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, grant that I may see you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
—St. Ignatius LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?
When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
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.
Too often in prayer, I find myself doing all the talking and thinking, leaving little, if any, space for God to get a word in edgewise! Sometimes I even forget that God is there at all!
Jesus’ disciples in the Gospel today seem to have the same issue. They talk among themselves to try to figure things out, rather than focusing on what Jesus is saying and doing right in front of them.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius tells us that before we begin our prayer, we should take a moment to consider how God is present to us right now. In other words, our attention should be, first and foremost, on God.
Maybe the invitation for us today is to pause our own thinking and talking so we can be attentive to God, so we can see and hear what God is feeling and desiring for us.
—Thomas Bambrick, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Midwest Province studying at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA.
Loving and ever-present God,
help us be attentive to you today,
so that we may live in your love
in all we are and do.
—Thomas BambrickPlease share the Good Word with your friends!