I was intrigued by what Noah saw when he emerged from the ark after the floods had receded. In Australia, we are only too used to the scenes of devastation after the flood waters recede. The massive, massive work of cleaning up and the equally massive emotional and psychological task of dealing with the destruction of so much that was precious and irreplaceable. People not even knowing where to begin.
Where do you begin in the task of rebuilding your life after it has fallen apart? This is not something everyone may have to do. Not everyone goes through that sort of trauma, but some do. So, where to begin?
Perhaps an answer is found in the gospel’s detail today, Jesus takes the blind man out of the village and, after restoring his sight, warns him not to go back to the village. So perhaps one of the secrets of growth is to be ready to move on. Even when you are blind and can’t see the way, then start moving; take small steps, baby steps perhaps, but each step is a step. And as strength and confidence and hope return, don’t try to go back; keep going forward. Some will want you to go back, to get back, to be who they knew or remember or want. But the gospel says Jesus ‘took him by the hand and led him out of the village”. Trust that it is Jesus who is leading you – and you won’t go wrong.
Tom McDonough CP, is the provincial of the Passionists of the Holy Spirit Province.