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By KIM ELENEZ
Many of you probably grew up in a Catholic house. Lots of family, life structured in and around the church. Someone, a parent perhaps, taught you how to read a hymn and what to do during mass. I did not. I grew up in a loving home, although church was not a part of our lives. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, which were each more a celebration of gift giving than of God’s majesty. Please don’t feel bad for me. The good part was ahead.
As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
In today’s gospel, we hear the story of the blind man who’s faith saved him. I love this story! For I, too, was the blind one. For years I sat on the side of the road, asking myself “where are all these people going?”. Puzzled I would do my best to watch and see, but I was blind. I was too proud and insecure to inquire about what was happening. So instead, I walked around thinking I would fake until I make it. Surely I can figure out where all these people are going if I just observe enough!
I was afraid to ask the simplest question, because if I did they would know that I didn’t have the answer. My ignorance would expose me. I would be embarrassed and ashamed. Little did I know that this dumb question was the single most important question any human can ask, because the answer will save your life. The answer is Jesus Christ. Such a simple question with a simple answer, yet so complex for our human brains.
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
I went on like this for years, playing with various non-Catholic churches on my own, until my husband introduced me to Catholicism. There I learned that not only is it important to ask questions, but it is our duty to do so as we glorify God. The Catholic Church has given us the gift of the Catechism, so all these questions have a resource. It can be heady stuff, but it’s all right there. I recently heard a speaker refer to the Catechism as a guidebook for humans. Yep, sounds right.
Jesus had been in my life all my life, but I refused to humble myself to see Him there. My lack of education and abundance of pride and insecurity kept me from asking and re-asking those people the question – what is happening over there?
Please keep this in mind when talking to your non-Catholic or fallen-away Catholic friends and family. They simply don’t know what’s happening; they are blind. And don’t think that just giving them the Catechism will do the job. More likely they will need to personally experience Christ, then they will be able to appreciate the comfort of all that He teaches.
And don’t be afraid to ask the dumb questions for yourself (hint: the old saying is true, there are no dumb questions!). Humble yourself and put your vulnerability on the line. Because once we do, perhaps we will starting asking the really good questions like - “what do you want me to do for you, Lord?”.
This meditation was written by Kim Elenez, wife, mother and media executive in Raleigh, NC. Kim converted to Catholicism in 2012.