“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Sm 16:7)
In the first reading, God challenges Samuel the prophet, and us, to look beyond mere appearances to see the goodness of people’s hearts. Our preconceived ideas of who and what are valuable can blind us to the blessings hidden in those that we tend to discount as in significant or worse. Jesse discounted his youngest son David as unworthy to even attend the feast of anointing, but as is often the case, God chose the cast off to lead his people.
Who is your David? God wants to lead us no less then he wanted to lead ancient Israel. He continues to place people in our lives that both light the way and challenge us to break out of our narrow mindedness and preconceived ideas. However, more often than not they are the people we least expect. Samuel and Jesse didn’t expect David to be the one. We need to be open to see God calling to us in those we might be taking for granted or even ignoring. Who is your David?
In the Gospel, Jesus encounters a man born blind which to the Jews indicated some grave sin. Therefore, his disciples ask him “who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Jesus tells them that sin was not the cause of his condition, rather God allowed his blindness that he may make known the glory of God’s works. Jesus manifests God’s healing power by restoring the blind man’s sight. The man then gives witness to Jesus before the Pharisees.
Unfortunately, the Pharisees’ own selfish agenda and preconceived judgments blind them from seeing and accepting the transforming love that Jesus gives. They have already decided that both Jesus and the blind man are bad. They remain in the darkness of their sin because in their prejudice they reject both the Lord and his messenger.
Who is your blind man? We reject so many people because of past sins, real or perceived. Those that have hurt us or others, criminals, addicts, deviants, etc., we write off as evil or too far gone. The Gospel proclaims that no one is beyond the reach of God’s healing love. In fact, those that God redeems and heals become great witnesses to Christ. We need to see God calling us in those we might be rejecting. Who is your blind man?
Fr. Chris Talbot
Priest in solidum, St. Francis-St. Maximilian