18 Nov 2019: Reaching out in Jesus Way

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Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Readings:1 Mc 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63, Luke 18: 35-43

In today’s Gospel we see how the people ask the blind man to keep quiet when he shouted ‘Jesus! Son of David have mercy on me.” The blind man was shouting out of total desperation. From the reading it is clear that he had sight once and wanted to see again. In his agony he knocks every door and when he heard that Jesus was passing through that way, he got a new hope. He would have heard a lot of miraculous deeds of Jesus. Hence, he too wanted to experience the miraculous touch of Jesus and he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David! Have pity on me.” But we see two reactions there: the people who order him to keep quiet and Jesus who orders him to be brought near to him. The people couldn’t understand the pain with which the man was crying out. They failed to perceive the underlying agony and longing for help that lie beneath the cry of this blind man. For them his cry was nothing but a disturbance and orders them to keep quiet. This is real blindness: not able to see the inner dynamics of any event or happening going on and being swayed away by the externalities. On the other hand Jesus could perceive that the cry was a longing for help. He stops his business and calls him to him. Jesus heard the cry in spite of the noise of the crowd that thronged around him. In Jesus, we see a perfect model of reaching out to others. Sometimes our works of mercy towards others is of our need than their need. But Jesus after calling the man near to him asks, “What do I want to do to the one in distress but what the need of the other one really is. Hence, today’s Gospel passage invites us to listen and to discern the cry for help and distress around us, to know what they need and to address them adequately. This is the Jesus’ model of reaching out to others. Reaching out to others in Jesus way calls for a shift from the phrase “This is what I want to do for you” to “What do you want me to do for you?”

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