Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Spittle. It's a funny word. It sounds slightly more pleasant than 'spit' yet both refer to the same thing: saliva. Gross. So why is it used in today's Gospel?
The story of this blind man is most fascinating because it tells the story of a man who used to see. We can infer this from his own statement: "I see people looking like trees and walking." Who but one who could formerly see would compare people to trees?
Yet, that is not the only interesting aspect of this passage. In this passage, Jesus does not merely heal by word but by his spittle. In other encounters, Jesus spits onto the ground and smears the mud on a blind man's eyes, but this time He just takes his spit and puts it on this guy's eyes. What is the deal? Let's put it simply: this is what Jesus is about. He is all about using everyday things to bring healing to a person who needs it most. He uses THINGS.
Let's hear that again: God uses PHYSICAL THINGS to bring healing about. This should amaze us! God who created the world out of nothing...OUT OF NOTHING, chooses to uses physical things to heal our physical bodies. Couldn't He just say some magic words and bam we are healed? Sure, but God isn't magic. We suffer, we hurt, we experience bad days, we judge people, we get judged. All of these are common to being a human being. God doesn't take away our pain, our suffering, our bad days, etc. That is a totally American mindset- "I take some pills and everything is hunky dory." No, God is about REDEMPTION. Why does He permit suffering? Why does He permit bad days? So that as we enter into a relationship with Him, He doesn't take them away, He redeems them so that we see them with new eyes.
Imagine the guy gone blind and all of a sudden He can see again, don't you think that he will have a greater appreciation for the things of this earth because he is seeing that which he hasn't seen in ages! Jesus didn't just take away his blindness, but He redeemed his sight! And this is exactly what Jesus does every time we receive Him in the Eucharist or when we go to confession. He isn't in the business about just making you feel good about yourself, although that is important. He wants you to have new sight so that you view the world through HIS eyes. He uses physical things- aka the sacraments (bread become Body, water purifying soul, oil to sanctify) that because Christ has sanctified them by His life, they become instruments, vessels of His healing power. He is no longer here to spit or to make mud but He has given us the sacraments- natural objects containing supernatural gifts- all to bring healing to us who are broken and blind and in need of His healing.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
How have you already experienced God's healing in your life? Maybe through the experiences of a friend or family member.
Suffering is hard. How can you unite your suffering more fully with Christ?
Where in your life do you need healing? It may or not be in a physical way. How can you ask God to provide healing in your life?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"He saw clearly."
"Heal me Jesus."
"Give me new eyes."
Step #5: Actio / Act
Today, ask Jesus for the power of healing. If you are feeling overwrought with the weight of your sin, go to confession. You can always experience God's love and mercy in the Eucharist, so try going to daily Mass. And for those who are seriously ill, there is always the possibility of speaking to a priest about the sacrament of anointing of the sick. But, say a special prayer, thanking God that no matter where you are in life, the sacraments will always be there as visible signs of God's invisible love for us.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Sean Grismer, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.