It’s the last line of today’s Gospel that’s the real zinger. Jesus, you’re not suggesting that we are the ones who are blind, are you? Because we know how God has set up the world. Good things happen to good people, and bad people are blind from birth. Okay, maybe this guy isn’t directly responsible for his blindness, but his parents must have been sinners, right? And we know for sure that YOU are a sinner because you brazenly heal on the Sabbath!
Isn’t their response a little similar to ours when we hear about something terrible that has happened to someone we know? Yes, it’s terrible that she has lung cancer, but she probably smoked, and I don’t smoke, so I’ll never get lung cancer. Yes, it’s horrible about the car accident, but I’ll bet he wasn’t wearing his seat belt, and I always wear my seat belt, so I’ll never be in a car accident.
There is something in us that needs to find a reason why bad things happen to very good people, because it’s too terrifying to admit that they could happen to us too. And if we can admit that, perhaps we are also ready to acknowledge that God can shake us from our cynicism, peel away our layers of bravado, and actually heal us too. It’s not a trick. It’s not a plot hatched years ago to make us think the man was blind when he really could see all this time. His parents weren’t in on it, and he wasn’t in on it. That man they call Jesus touched him, and now he can see.
And if we can’t believe that, we are more blind than the man who was born blind and now sees.
In what ways have you felt the healing touch of Jesus in your life?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).