Jesus miraculously gives a faithful blind man the ability to see. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by cultivating the Virtue of Gratitude so he can thank God in both private and public life and by building the Virtue of Charity so he can perform many Works of Mercy to help the poor and suffering. 

Liturgy

33rd Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Lk 18:35-43

Commentary

On the way to His Passion, Jesus offered a miracle tour de force by healing a crippled woman (skeletal), a man with dropsy (circulatory), and 10 lepers (skin); He now miraculously gives a blind man his sight. On the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the very same location of His parable, The Good Samaritan (Lk 10:29-47), Jesus stops and offers mercy to an unfortunate on the road. 

The long-suffering blind man who begs to survive, desperately attempts to find out why the great throngs of people are going by. Evidently, the blind man knows of Jesus and perhaps has even waited for Him; the man cries out with some familiarity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The blind man knows who Jesus is, that Jesus can miraculously heal, and that He is perhaps the Messiah, the Son of David.  The crowd, enamored and annoyed, tells the man to shut-up; ironically, the man is crying out for mercy and the crowd shows no mercy. The blind man, spiritually moved by the presence of God, shouts even louder with a “blind faith” in Jesus.  

In a rebuke and a lesson in mercy to the crowd, Jesus stops and commands the crowd to bring the blind man forward. While He knows what the blind man wants, to test the man’s faith, Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”  The blind man demonstrates complete faith: addresses Jesus as “Lord”, believes that Jesus has miraculous healing power, and respectfully requests for Jesus to heal him. With simply a word, Jesus restores the man’s sight and tells the man that he is not only physically healed, but spiritually healed (the word used for “heal” can also be rendered “saved”). Realizing he has been both healed and saved, the man glorifies God and follows Jesus. The man’s miraculous healing and his faith and gratitude to God stirs the previously unmerciful crowd to give joyous shouts of praise to God. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be encouraged by Jesus, the Divine Priest, who with the fullness of Compassion listens for and responds to the prayers of the desperate who cry out in faith, has the Divine Knowledge and Power to instantly heal blindness (something, that even today, with incredible technology is rare, complex and expensive) and responds with the Corporal Work of Mercy (a part of Charity) to care for the ill. 

Thank God in private and in public

Realize: The healed man’s shouts of gratitude not only justly gives God glory for healing but also spurs others to glorify God; publicly giving God glory for His blessings is not only required by the Virtue of Justice, but can help lead others to God. 

Believe: Reflect upon Gratitude to God (CCC 800, 1360, 1418, 2097, 2099, 2215, 2218, 2239, 2251, 2280, 2362).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I always recognize Your abundant blessings in my life, give You thanks, and personally tell others about how You have richly blessed me. 

Perform many Works of Mercy to help the suffering

Realize: Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan and the healing of Bartimaeus highlight the emphasis that Jesus places on Works of Mercy for the injured and disabled. 

Believe: Review the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy (CCC 2447).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Charity, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I automatically anticipate another’s suffering and have compassion and fortitude to perform many Works of Mercy for my brothers and sisters who suffer poverty, illness, and disability.