What do you notice when you read today’s Gospel reading?
“As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside”.
The reading tells of two blind men who had their sight restored by Jesus. This of course seems to be the main point of the story.
I have reflected on this passage dozens of times over the years, mostly aware that while I do have reasonable physical sight, my deeper vision is usually limited by my prejudices and my fears. So after reading this passage I usually pray that Jesus will heal me by restoring my internal vision, enabling me to see other people, situations and the world through his eyes.
But today as I read the passage a different thought came to me and I have no doubt that Jesus himself planted the new reflection in my mind.
These two blind men and Jesus have a conversation, backwards and forwards. They call out to Jesus “Take pity on us!” Jesus responds “Do you believe I can do this?” “Yes!” they reply. “Let this be done for you” Jesus then commands.
This is how we humans in healthy relationship communicate with each other. We converse. We speak making comments and ask questions then respond to each other listening with curiosity to the words of the other.
This is a pretty good definition of prayer: conversation with Jesus. Speaking to Jesus and listening to Him.
- Whenever you get a chance today, perhaps when you are stopped at the lights, grabbing a few seconds to breathe in the midst of a busy day, or making time to sit still in silence for ten minutes, talk to Jesus informally, like a friend. Tell him everything, your concerns, your fears and your hopes.
- Then ask Jesus to respond and listen for this. You will probably be surprised at what comes to mind. Trust this, and presume that this is Jesus responding directly to you.
- If you have any doubt then tell Jesus this, asking him to confirm that the response you sense really is from him.