Jesus sighs deeply in his spirit today. His frustration is palatable. These friggin' Pharisees! These dense disciples! What do you mean you want a SIGN! Wasn't feeding 9000 people enough! What about all those healings and miracles beforehand? And just what do you mean we don't have enough bread!?!?! ARGHHHH!! Well, that's how a interpret Jesus' reactions in our Gospel today....perhaps a bit dramatic, but that drama proves a point.
Jesus has done many public signs of his authority and power given to him from birth. And yet people don't see, don't understand. Even those closest to him still don't get it. They arrive in Bethsaida and a blind man is brought to him for healing. Jesus leads him, by hand, out of the town and does a "double" healing. The first time things are cloudy, and the second time Jesus lays hands on this individual's eyes he saw everything clearly. Jesus sends him home, not thru the city....this was a private healing.
I often wonder if Mark is talking about physical blindness or spiritual blindness. I have really bad uncorrected eyesight (20/400 in one eye and 20/450 in the other). I wear contacts and reading glasses during the day, and glasses early in the morning when I rise from sleeping. When I do not have my contacts in, or my glasses on, anything that is less than 4 inches from my nose is completely blurry, indistinct, undefinable. I have always wanted to do a series of paintings called "Uncorrected Sight" so people can "see" what I see without corrective lenses. I have yet to be able to effectuate that vision on canvas. Perhaps someday I will.
But when I don't have my glasses on, and I need to hold something very close to see it....I can see remarkable detail, things I cannot discern when I have the corrective lenses on. I wonder if spiritual blindness can be akin to that. I wonder if the man who couldn't see, or the disciples, needed a different kind of corrective lens to understand what Jesus was doing, what his ministry was accomplishing and the miracle, the healing, is the spiritual awakening of the individual whom Jesus touches. Are we looking through the wrong lens thereby not being able to really see? Are we missing both the public and private signs?
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.