Apocalypse 1:1-4, 2:1-5
Jesus is on the final stage of his fateful journey to Jerusalem, where, as he predicted, he would meet a cruel death. But there are two encouraging moments along the way. He meets a blind beggar whose faith shines brightly; and he meets Zacchaeus (tomorrow’s reading).
I first learned about blindness from my maternal grandfather, by the time I was 3 he was completely blind. Though blind he was self-sufficient, until he was paralysed for the last few years of his life, he would walk to the local tea shop, about half a kilometer, each morning and evening, navigating narrow paths including a single plank bridge across a river. He was a great storyteller, bringing vivid images of the settings and characters to the listeners. He knew the exact time of the day, named anyone that said hello. I was always amused by my grandfather, wasn’t he supposed to be blind?
The blind beggar in today’s Gospel stands in clear contrast to the rich ruler earlier in chapter 18. The beggar is physically blind but spiritually sighted, while the rich ruler is physically sighted but spiritually blind.
I’ve been so fortunate to have had training, exposure, education, experience and a profile that I can pride on and even with both my eyesight perfectly ok most times I’m not sure if I really see! I’m often blinded by my own very light. My prayer today is “Lord, let me see again.”
Giltus Mathias CP is a Passionist priest that lives at St.Brigi’s Community Marrickville.