Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Why we slowly understand

When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.” Mk 8,22-26

I know two brothers who do not speak each other since several years because of a legacy which one of them considers not fair. We read in the paper that some young people stab for the possession of a mobile phone and of entire nations which are at war since half a century for a strip of land. The history and the everyday life make us aware that the tangible things are considered most important than the affections. It is the process of “materialization”, of reduction of the persons to objects, which the sin of the man has put in place since the beginning of times. In the previous passage of the today gospel, Jesus reminded the disciples the two multiplications of the loaves, when first five thousand and then four thousand men were fed, and them he sadly concluded: ” Do you have eyes and not see …. Do you still not understand?” ( Mk 8,18-21). Today, after having touched his eyes for the first time, Jesus asks to the blind man: “Do you see anything?”. And the blind man: “I see people looking like trees and walking”. It is the process of “materialization” of the persons to stop this blind to see immediately the men. It is easier to see the trees. Only after Jesus touched his eyes for a second time, the blind man “could see everything distinctly”. This miracle shows the journey from the blindness to the enlightenment, which Jesus is doing on the disciples because in the end they acknowledge him as the Messiah, the messenger of God by whom the hope of Israel is fulfilled. It is an awareness which will be very slow, Jesus will even have to die on the cross and to rise again to have it fulfilled in full. The passage now makes us to ponder on our slow process of understanding the gospel and on our life plan. Probably the acceleration of this route passes through the substitution of the love for the things with the love for the people, the starting point of each of the projects of the Lord.

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