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Homily for Friday of the First Week of Advent, Feast of St. Andrew, 02 Dec 2022, Mt 9:27-31

Today’s Gospel is a good illustration of the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

If there is anything evident in the description of the two blind men in today’s Gospel, it is the fact that they knew how to help themselves despite the fact that Jesus had ignored them. And Matthew makes it obvious why. The two blind men were making a scene as they cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” The blind men were practically proclaiming him publicly as the Messiah whom people expected to come from the line of David. It was a perfect formula for getting Jesus into trouble with the authorities.

How is this different from the story of Mark about the blind beggar Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52)? Well, there in Mark, Jesus actually stopped and asked the disciples to call him over. Here in Matthew, Jesus simply ignored them and just kept walking on until he reached the house to which he was going. Meaning, he did not pay any attention to them.

But Matthew tells us the two blind men did not give up. They helped themselves by helping each other find their way to the house in which Jesus had entered. I am reminded here of that rhetorical question posed by Jesus in Luke 6:39 , “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?” The two blind men in the Gospel were a good example of the blind man guiding another blind man, without falling into a pit. They were blind all right, but they could hear well and talk clearly. They say nature has a way of making sure that people with some disabilities will maximize their use of their other abilities. That is why it has become politically incorrect to call them DISABLED. Most likely they asked around or even used their sense of touch and smell to be able to locate the house to which Jesus had entered.

Even there inside the house Jesus does not stop challenging them. For instance, he asks them, “Do you really believe that I can do this?” And after Jesus gives in to their request and they actually get healed, Jesus tells them to keep quiet about it. It was his way of saying to them, “Now don’t get me into trouble , ok? It was why I initially avoided you when you called out to me.”

But the blind men are consistent. If nothing could stop them from pursuing him, nothing would also keep them from talking about their experience of healing after their wish is granted.

The story tells us one thing about the character of Jesus; he was not attention hungry. In many instances, he in fact deliberately tried to avoid public notice. I am sure he was aware of the possible consequence; that it would be more difficult for him move around freely and visit people.

But that’s another story all together. Sometimes, being ignored need not be a reason for engaging in self-pity. Nobody is helping you? No problem. You can crawl if you need to, if only to have an access to Jesus. You can find your way to him and sort of pester him the way the Syrophoenician woman did in another story. Remember that woman who stood her ground even after several rejections? The determination to get healed is as essential as the experience itself of healing. God does not give up on us, so why should we give up on ourselves?

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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