20 Nov 2017: The Lord is passing by!

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Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: 1 Macc 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63; Gospel: Lk 18:35-43

The readings of today speak about two kinds of people. The first kind was motivated by beliefs of others; whereas the second kind was motivated by personal belief and convictions. While the former are readily swayed, the latter stand firm. In the first reading, we see that though many Israelites were seduced and led astray, there were others who were ready to die for what they believed in. The same is true of the Gospel reading: while many went by popular belief and tried to silence the blind man, he would not remain silent for he believed that Jesus could restore his sight. From here, I would like to touch upon two things.

1. What we ‘believe in’ is very important. Unfortunately, most of our belief comes from what we are taught by others, especially with regard to matters of faith. From early childhood, our catechism teachers taught us that God is invisible and we cannot see God or hear His voice except through the instrumentality of the ‘Word’ and the ‘Bread’.

We fail to understand that our God is a ‘Living God’. In the Old Testament times, right from the beginning of creation, people experienced Him personally – saw His presence (cloud, fire, etc), heard His voice, and experienced His love and care in a tangible manner. This phenomenon was optimized with the New Testament, with the incarnation, the resurrection and the Pentecost. When Jesus said “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20), He did not mean a presence that is intangible. We read about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles, where people consulted Him (Acts 15:28), were snatched by Him (Acts 8:39), and were led almost literally by hand (Acts 16:6-8).

My friends, God does not change. He is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow (Heb 13:8). If He was so closely in communion with the people in the past, we can be sure that He would do the same in the present. It is only a matter of our belief. Jesus asked the blind man, what he wanted Jesus to do. His power is infinite, but He does not work beyond our belief system. Blind eyes are not a problem for Him, only blind (hardened/closed) hearts are.

2. The blind man wanted to ‘see again’. It means that he was not blind once upon a time. He has experienced the beauty of sight. Hence his ardent desire to see again. The same applies to our relationship with God: once we have truly experienced Him, we would want nothing else in life, but Him and Him alone.

Even today, the Lord is passing by. What do you want Him to do for you?

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