Blindness – October 2018

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Mark 10:51,52

 

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

During the month of October, the Gospels we proclaim have been from St. Mark, Chapter 10. The last Scripture reading from this chapter is proclaimed on October 28. It would be good for you to pick up a Bible and read the entire Chapter 10 of St. Mark, to reflect upon the whole chapter and the message St. Mark conveys to us through the telling of his encounter as Jesus’ disciple.  Upon prayerful discernment, I hope you will note that Jesus’ message is not to put ourselves before God; rather, whatever authority we exercise must be like that of Jesus, offered as service to others, rather than for personal aggrandizement. The service of Jesus is His passion and death for the sins of the human race.

To be a servant of the Lord, we have to leave everything in our Lord’s hands. Riches are nothing if they are physical and not of our heart. Further, that of the heart must be that of God.  We must also turn over our falsehoods, our ‘synthetic’ possessions, such as honor, esteem and fame, so that in all things we seek God’s glory. Everything we have is not because of our own doing, but from God.  We are called to offer ourselves and tender our possessions that they might blossom and fill the earth with the fragrance of the Holy Spirit.

In this particular section of Chapter 10, Jesus speaks to us about blindness. What causes us to be blind, to lose faith? My daily prayer is that God guide me to assist each one of you in your faith journey that you might not become blind. Participation in the celebration of the Holy Mass and reception of the Eucharist is the greatest opportunity given to us to avoid blindness.

The Bread of Life is always reconciling. Could our blindness be caused by our lack of understanding or impatience or ill-will toward others? St. Augustine observes, “the bread you see on the altar, sanctified by the Word of God, is the Body of Christ.  The chalice, or rather, what the chalice contains, sanctified by the Word of God, is the Blood of Christ.”  In these signs, Christ the Lord willed to entrust to us His Body and Blood which He shed for the forgiveness of our sins.  The work of the Holy Spirit sanctifies our lives and makes us holy. “One should not believe that Christ is in the head but not in the body; rather, He is complete in the head and in the body.” The same Jesus who heals the blind man calling out in faith is the Christ who beckons us all to God’s throne “to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”

The holy pursuit of the path of God can be fraught with challenges and difficulties without the nourishment of the Holy Eucharist. There are so many of you who serve the Lord well and do not succumb to blindness. On November 4, I will lead Mid-Day Prayer at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe to offer diocesan and papal honors to 175 lay men and women, religious sisters and clergy who are recognized as outstanding examples of selflessness, service and fidelity to the Church. It is my humble privilege to present these honors to these individuals. How wondrous that we are able to open our eyes to God’s gift of so many disciples whose faith enkindles the faith in the heart of all the people of the Diocese of Orlando! I pray with gratitude for them and for each one of you who continue to have a heart of God.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Papal Nuncio for the United States, said, To be a disciple – whether we are a bishop, priest, deacon, religious or layperson – means “learning from the Master and evangelizing using the “method modeled by the Master. Discipleship “begins with ourselves, our families, communities and parishes, in which we can experience and share God’s love. We go forth in the power of the holy name of Jesus with boldness, with audacity, as “children of the light.”

In the beginning of our Jubilee Year, we prayed, Stay with us, Lord.  May we pray unceasingly.