Friday of Week 1 of Advent – Gospel

Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31

Our readings today are both about seeing. The Gospel speaks about the healing of two blind men. It is a story which we also find in Mark’s gospel, but here with significant differences. For instance, Mark has only one blind man while Matthew has two. It is important that we not just read this as just another miracle, another proof of Jesus’ divine power.

It begins with two blind men going after Jesus calling after him in desperation:

Have mercy on us, Son of David!

There is already an element of faith in calling Jesus by this messianic name (“Son of David”) and it also points to the healing power of Jesus – He is more than an ordinary rabbi. When they catch up to Jesus, he asks them:

Do you have faith that I can do this?

Without their trust in him, Jesus cannot do anything for them.

We remember what was said about the unbelieving people of Nazareth. These men say they do believe and Jesus responds:

According to your faith, let it be done to you.

They get their sight back. They can now see. Jesus tells them not to say anything about it. Jesus is not interested in being a sensation, he does not want people to have a wrong idea of his real mission. But they ignored his appeal and went about telling everyone of what had happened.

There is more here than meets the eye! What we have here is not just the restoration of their physical sight. They have gained ‘in-sight’. They can really see. They can see who Jesus really is, the Word of God, the Action of God – and they simply have to share that experience with everyone else. It is not something that they can keep to themselves.

It is significant that the following story is about the healing of a man who is unable to speak. There are several instances of Jesus healing muteness, deafness and blindness in the Gospel. As disciples of Christ we need to be able to see and understand the message of Jesus and then we need to proclaim it everywhere.

Today is a day for us to be aware of our own blindness and our own deafness. We often have difficulty really hearing and accepting the Word of God, and how many us can claim that we can see Jesus as he really is? If we are to celebrate Christmas properly, we must learn how to listen to God’s Word, with understanding and acceptance, and learn how to see deeply into the meaning of his life as it is presented to us. And it starts right there with the baby in the stable.

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