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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Prophets

The Eyes of the Blind Will See…

Submitted by on Friday, 3 December 2010No Comment

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  • Reading I:  Isaiah 29:17-24
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27:1,13-14
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 9:27-31

God’s Mighty Act for Jerusalem

Here is another image of the Day of the Lord as it dawns over Jerusalem. It appears in a description of what will happen after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the faithlessness of the people of Judah will be revealed (vv. 9-16). "A very little while" is the period of time it will take before Jerusalem’s fall and God’s mighty act of salvation. Changes in nature, in man, in human society shall be enacted in a way previously unimagined. In fact, the changes that occur in human life will be like the cedars of Lebanon changing into orchards and fruit trees growing so thick that they will be considered forests. Eyes and ears formerly closed to God’s revelation (vv. 11-12) will now be opened (vv. 18). The proud and the arrogant (vv. 15-16) will be cut off and the poor and the lowly will truly rejoice in the Lord (v. 19). And since eyes that were formerly closed because of lack of faith can now see the mighty hand of God working in the life of His people (v. 23), God will be worshipped and adored as He should be. And God’s instruction will once more be given to those who lack understanding.

The Two Blind Men

Matthew has transformed Mark’s story of Bartimaeus, including it in a series of healing miracles. The story of Jesus giving life to Jairus daughter and the woman with hemorrhage is immediately followed by the healing of the blind men and the mute. In other words, miracles that anticipate the Resurrection are followed by miracles that anticipate the baptismal faith: the restoration of the capacity to see and proclaim.

In Matthew’s version, the blind men follow Jesus while at the same time crying out "Son of Man, have mercy on us". The fact that they were already following Jesus even before He healed them is already a big change in Matthew’s story. In Mark, Bartimaeus was healed first, before he could follow Jesus.

The healing occurs in private — in a "house" — but only after Jesus has been ascertained that the men believed in His ability to take away their blindness. This episode reminds one of another of Mark’s healing miracles, that of the blind man of Bethsaida (8:22-26). In this latter, however, the man was healed gradually. In Matthew’s version, Jesus puts his hands over the eyes of the blind men and they are healed.

Guidelines for Actualization

The liturgy puts the healing of the blind men together with the Isaianic text of the restoration of Jerusalem in view of the text "out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see" , and "When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, they shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel." (Isaiah 29:18.23). Blind eyes cannot bring one to glorify God; one has to see His deeds and praise Him for His mighty works. By our baptism, our eyes were enlightened by Christ and given the capacity to see God’s hands moving in our midst. How has God been moving in your life? As an exercise: Make a list of the things that you wish to thank God for.

Isaiah 29:17-24
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
17Is it not yet a very little while, and Libanus shall be turned into charmel, and charmel shall be esteemed as a forest?
18And in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and out of darkness and obscurity the eyes of the blind shall see.
19And the meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20For he that did prevail hath failed, the scorner is consumed, and they are all cut off that watched for iniquity:
21That made men sin by word, and supplanted him that reproved them in the gate, and declined in vain from the just.
22Therefore thus saith the Lord to the house of Jacob, he that redeemed Abraham: Jacob shall not now be confounded, neither shall his countenance now be ashamed:
23But when he shall see his children, the work of my hands in the midst of him sanctifying my name, and they shall sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall glorify the God of Israel:
24And they that erred in spirit, shall know understanding, and they that murmured, shall learn the law.
Psalm 27:1,13-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1The psalm of David before he was anointed. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?
13I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
14Expect the Lord, do manfully, and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.
Matthew 9:27-31
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27And as Jesus passed from thence, there followed him two blind men crying out and saying, Have mercy on us, O Son of David.
28And when he was come to the house, the blind men came to him. And Jesus saith to them, Do you believe, that I can do this unto you? They say to him, Yea, Lord.
29Then he touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith, be it done unto you.
30And their eyes were opened, and Jesus strictly charged them, saying, See that no man know this.
31But they going out, spread his fame abroad in all that country.
Isaiah 29:18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
18And in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and out of darkness and obscurity the eyes of the blind shall see.

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