November 14, 2011 - Monday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

He heard the crowd, so he asked those who could see what was going on. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” So he cries out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” How did this man know Jesus? How did he know that Jesus was descended from King David? How did he know that Jesus could do anything for him? Perhaps he has heard stories. Perhaps someone had told him about the prophet who could heal the blind, and now – here he is.

The leading men try to shush him. They want a respectful silence. They should have joined in. “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” Who would be unable to say this? Who does not need mercy? We admire this man so much that we repeat his words at every Mass: “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.” We join in. They should have joined in.

Jesus insists that the man be brought to him. He cannot turn down this request for mercy. He came to have mercy on us. Everything he did was for the sake of mercy. His whole existence as a man was an act of mercy. Now here is a man crying out as the whole world ought to have been crying out: “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” So he stops. God stops what he was doing and waits for the man. We think that we are too busy to help other people, but God stopped and waited.

Jesus offers this man a wish. What do you wish that I will do for you? His question includes a promise: “I will do for you” he says. The blind man wants to see again. We want to see again too. We used to see clearly, before our eyes were opened, before the fall. This man is a symbol of all humans. He could see and then he lost his sight and Jesus restored it. We could see and then we lost our sight and then Jesus restored it.

The man ends by following Jesus and glorifying God.This man is not only a symbol, but an example. As he moves from hearing about Jesus to begging for mercy to praising God, he moves quickly and readily, revealing his abundant faith. When the people see him praising God, they praise God too. His faith is contagious.