This past week in our Monday Religious Education program, the youngsters spent some time 'breaking open' the Sunday scriptures. At the end of the session, I asked the children to tell me something they had learned, or something they hoped for....it was wonderful to listen to them tell me what they had learned about the 'blind man' and how Jesus helped him. It was even more amazing to watch their catechists face shine with pride and happiness as she realized that she had helped the Gospel become real for these children. It was a great way to end a Monday afternoon.
As I look at the story of the blind man this afternoon, I am caught as I often am, by the question and answer exchange between Bartimaeus and Jesus. Why would Jesus ask, "what do you want me to do for you"? Wouldn't it be obvious that a blind person would want to see? What else could he possible desire? And so his answer reflects that..."I want to see"!!
I wonder, now that he CAN see...WHAT does he see? What is he looking for? Is he glad he can see? Is he disturbed by what he sees?
What about us? If we are men and women who take the words of Jesus to heart, how do we see the world around us? Do we see God's love and care evidenced in nature and relationships and sunrises and warm embraces? Do we see God's challenge to us in the homeless and the poor and the forgotten? What do we see when another police officer is shot and killed? What do we see when another house burns down in a poor neighborhood? Maybe more importantly...what do we DO, with what we see? Are we moved to prayer? To action? To the desire to work for change in an unjust world?
Sometimes I have to wonder...do we really want to see or would we rather be blind to the issues that haunt us and challenge us? What do you think?