Luke 18: 35-43 Giving Sight
I was on a plane when the gentleman sitting next to me asked me if I were a Catholic priest. He then went on to explain to me with great enthusiasm his theory of the Universe and how he believed it originated from a tremendous explosion of energy that culminated in the creation of life on earth. This was hardly new to me. I responded by telling him how I too believed in Father Georges Lemaitre’s theory of the “Big Bang” (Most people do not know that the first to propose such a theory was actually a Catholic priest-mathematician and physicist) but that the universe was created not from a tremendous explosion of energy, but of love, and that it culminated in the creation of man on earth. Pure energy destroys. Only pure love can create! Yes, we were created to eat and breathe but so much more than that. Our brains were created for survival, but it is more than obvious that they were created for more than that! We exist for only one reason: to love and be loved, just like our Founder, our Creator - our God! We were created in His image, and we will never be satisfied until we have found our true love. If I want to satisfy my deepest longing, then I must start at the top! Only then can I work my way down to my neighbor. By the time our flight landed, we had quite the conversation: lively, hilarious and eye opening.
Today’s Gospel reminds me that the Lord not only gave physical sight to the blind man, he gave him spiritual sight as well. Another definition of faith, maybe the more beautiful one, is to give sight beyond reason; to see beyond the obvious. Faith exists not so much to see how “far we have fallen” (Rev. 2:4) but to see how far we can love! St. John reminds the Church in Ephesus, “you have lost the love you had at first.” Why? I think the reason was primarily because they lost the reason for their love. They had forgotten Jesus.
This morning I listened to 25 first-confessions. I gave a talk before hand. I mentioned to the children that the best confessions are the most honest ones. I reminded them that when they confess their sins, their sins are forgiven, forgotten, forever! They looked excited. But they didn’t know why? How could it be so easy? They had no clue why they would get off the hook, or better, off the cross. I taught them this lesson and I hope they will never forget: “Yes, your sins will be forgiven, forgotten, forever; but at a very high price. Instead of you getting in trouble, Christ will get in trouble for you. Instead of you getting punished, Christ will get punished for you. Instead of you getting hurt, Christ will get hurt for you. Instead of you being grounded, Christ will get thrown to the ground, stepped on, punched, spit on and nailed for you.” The kids got it, and so did their parents. That was my goal. Mission accomplished.
Faith enlightens our minds and inflames our hearts to give reason for why we do what we do. That is, to put it all together; to go beyond the how’s of life to the why’s of life; to go beyond the atoms that exist and put them all together and rediscover the purpose of life - not to love atoms but to love Adam. Yes, we are all here. May I never forget how beautiful this is. I am alive. I have made it and so have you.
During the holidays, we hear so much about giving. The how to give has never been forgotten. The reason to give is slipping away. T ‘is the season to be jolly. T ‘is the season to be giving. But why? Why is now the time to give? Is it because of climate change (season’s greetings)? No. It is because it is the time to celebrate the greatest gift ever given: the gift of our Lord who became a child. I know it is early. But it is never too soon to see the Light, to refresh our memories. To go back and discover what was lost.
This season, give the greatest gift one could ever give: the gift of our faith. Share your faith, buy a book, pray for someone, give them a crucifix, a bible, a holy card, a free retreat, an invitation to Mass, a subscription to any devotional materials, a favorite Christian CD, etc…
This season, help others to discover who the Lord is so they may never forget who they are. He is love and I am his beloved. I do not fear for the lame or the crippled; I do not fear for the blind or sick. I still remember the blind man’s line from the movie Bella: “God made me blind so that I might see.” I do not fear for them. Rather, I fear for those who are whole and have a gaping hole. Let us pray for those who have gone down with the Titanic but let us pray even more for those who have survived, for much is expected to those who go on living. Much will be demanded from them and from all of us.
How can I forget the power of my God and my faith? It saves me in times of trouble. Allow the Lord to put it all together and give us sight with his incredible light.