Grace to you!
We continue our reflection on grace as participants in the beginning of a new year of grace this Advent.
The story of the two blind men (in Capernaum), who called on Jesus for healing recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, has a wonderful lesson for us. Though Luke (20:29–34) has a similar story, locating it as taking place in Jericho, my spiritual reflection is based on Matthew’s, the liturgical reading for today. Evidently, the story centers on faith. Nonetheless, we can extract the ingredient of God’s grace at work here.
By our nature, God has put a seed of his love and life in us. Being made in the image and likeness of God is the classical biblical way of expressing it. Hence, by nature, we are disposed for God.
Once an atheist—so he called himself—came to my office. I loved his honesty because he said he wasn’t sure why he came. He explained he had a feeling of deep emptiness and a hunger for something. He didn’t know how to express what he was searching. God was stirring his heart and when the idea of divine experience was introduced in the discussion, his face glittered with that kind of expression one could describe as the “aha moment.”
Mediate on this story of the two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31): As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out: “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them: “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said: “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. …”
As I meditate on this text, I am drawn to contemplate the journey of these two people. They were desperately in need of sight. I wonder how it feels to lose one’s sight. It must be a horrible experience. An idea could be moments of blackout, when the electricity goes off unexpectedly in the thick of the night. We grope in darkness. It’s awful and terrifying. What more being blind?
Blindness in the spiritual life could also be a terrifying experience. Not to sense the Lord, perceive his love and contemplate the beauty of his presence could cause one a terrible emptiness. It’s desolation of a grave spiritual kind. But when we are graced for the sight of seeing ourselves in God and knowing, as God knows us, no matter how little, since we can’t completely know as God knows us, its always edifying to the soul.
For some, this comes like a glitter of light. Father Thomas McDermott calls it “actual graces which are like flares of divine help received for the moment” (Filled with All the Fullness of God, (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 28). For others, it’s a sober, quiet moment of introspection when we sound like, “we get it.” It could be at the moment of listening to a sermon or participating at the Eucharist. Great news is that the Lord richly provides the grace as he passes by.
For this Day 6 of Advent, may we contemplate the moment we realized our attitudes and dispositions towards holy things have changed for the better. Those instants are moments of grace.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.