One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 8:22-26 and The First Memorial of Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920) and Blessed Julia Rodzinska OP (1899-1945) Martyr
And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village….Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored and saw everything clearly. And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”...Mark 8:22,25-26
REFLECTION – “They came, then, to Bethsaida, into the village of Andrew and Peter, James and John. Bethsaida means “house of fishers” and, in truth, from this house, hunters and fishermen are sent into the whole world. Ponder the text. The historical facts are clear, the literal sense is obvious. But we must now search into its spiritual message. That He came to Bethsaida, that there was a blind man there, that He departed, what is there remarkable about all that? Nothing, but what He did there is great; striking, however, only if it should take place today, for we have ceased to wonder about such things.
How, then, is his house not in Bethsaida? Note the text exactly. If we consider the literal interpretation only, it does not make any sense. If this blind man is found in Bethsaida and is taken out and cured and he is commanded: “Return to your own house,” certainly, he is bid: “Return to Bethsaida.” If, however, he returns there, what is the meaning of the command: “Do not go into the village?” You see, therefore, that the interpretation is symbolic. He is led out from the house of the Jews, from the village, from the law, from the traditions of the Jews. He, who could not be cured in the law, is cured in the grace of the gospel. It is said to him, “Return to your own house” — not into the house that you think, the one from which he came out but into the house that was also the house of Abraham, since Abraham is the father of those who believe.”… St Jerome (343-420) Father & Doctor of the Church – Tractate on the Gospel of Mark, Homily 79.
“Our lives are sometimes similar to that of the blind man who opened himself to the light, who opened himself to God, who opened himself to His grace. Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ in order to bear fruit in our lives, to eliminate unchristian behaviours; we are all Christians but we all, everyone, sometimes has unchristian behaviours, behaviours that are sins. We must repent of this, eliminate these behaviours in order to journey well along the way of holiness, which has its origin in baptism. We, too, have been “enlightened” by Christ in baptism, so that, as St Paul reminds us, we may act as “children of light” (Eph 5:8), with humility, patience and mercy.
Let us ask ourselves about the state of our own heart? Do I have an open heart or a closed heart? It is opened or closed to God? Open or closed to my neighbour? We are always closed to some degree, which comes from original sin, from mistakes, from errors. We need not be afraid!
Let us open ourselves, to the light of the Lord, He awaits us always in order to enable us to see better, to give us more light, to forgive us. Let us not forget this!”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 30 March 2014
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, just as the little children, Francisco and Jacinta and Blessed Julia Rodzinska, were chosen to be bearers of Your message, grant we pray, that by their prayers on our behalf, we too may Your bearers of light. Be with us, holy Mother, during our journey to the eternal glory of your Son, help us to become like little children and in that new purity, shine with His Light. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.