This weekend's gospel talks about "the man born blind". We see Jesus heal this man--a man thought to be incurable--not because of the lackof medical technology but rather, because it was believed that he was a sinner and that God had in fact smited him.
Jesus essentially says that this is hogwash. He also points out how blind the people who have kept this man believing that he is a drastic sinner really are. They are unable to see beyond the usual societal prejudices of the day--the prejudice that says disabled people have been made that way by God. This had to have been a nice loophole for people to engage with to get out of taking care of those who were destitute...."Ah, God wants them to be like that."
Jesus sees beyond these prejudices and not only looks into the heart of the man born blind but then also calls us to see what we do not see in others as well.
Have I pre-judged the homeless man who sits down the block from my office?
Have I pre-judged my family knowing their own weaknesses and assuming that they will fail at matters I deem them not worthy to handle?
Do I think less than highly of myself staying blind to all of my own gifts and talents and fail to stretch to develop my own abilities?
If I'm honest, I answer yes to all of those things and admit that I am guilty of this sin. A serious one, in my mind. I've placed myself as the judge and I relegate each person to an unredeemable status.
Help me Lord, to look into the heart of these people that I too often don't see clearly. Cure my blindness and let me see what gifts they can be to me and to you. Fill me with your Amazing grace, for I was blind, but not I see.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.