They forgot the man

There are few Gospel stories about healing that would be as detailed in the description as healing of the man blind from birth. The Gospel gives the whole story of healing and the fate of a man who not only regained his sight, but also believed in the Son of God. Biblical scholars suggest that this man must have played a significant role in the later community, since his story has survived in the memory of the Gospel writers and has survived with such details. It is not surprising, however. An event in which someone miraculously regained their eyesight would definitely fall in everyone’s heart and was the reason to spread this extraordinarily good news to others. Nevertheless, there is a bit of bitterness in this story that we only see in a wider context.

When we look at the whole story from a literary perspective, it consists of several scenes in which circumstances and characters change. First, they are disciples asking for the sin of a blind man, then the act of healing, interrogation by the Pharisees, calling for the parents of the blind and meeting Jesus in the aspect of faith. Each of these scenes carries a certain truth, which shows that in our relationships with others we often forget about human being, and we see only secondary things. On the contrary, it is Jesus who first sees man and only then explains what he directly touches. Let’s see how it looks in this story. 

First, disciples are concerned not with the mere fact of blindness, but with the answer to the question about the consequences of sin. Jesus, however, pushes these doubts away from them and focuses them on the “here and now” of the blind. The basic question is not what sins he or his parents committed, but the glory of God, which will be revealed right now. After healing, the man falls into the hands of the Pharisees, and here, too, no one deals with the essence of the matter, and it is, after all, extraordinary: the blind has regained his sight! The Pharisees, however, are interested in the “illegality” of healing that Jesus has done. They reprimand him for violating the Sabbath and doubt His holiness. Before them stands tangible proof of God’s goodness. However, they are troubled by a violation of the Law and concern for their own interests. What’s more, they call for blind’s parents, whose behavior can also be described as “strange”. For fear of being thrown out of the Jewish community, they forget about their own son, who has just regained his sight and can see his parents for the first time. Similarly, those who know him since he was a child (some even doubt the man’s identity). Unfortunately, also in this case, regaining vision collides with the blindness of those who have healthy vision.

This contrast between vision and blindness, concern for man and callousness, faith and unbelief are to make us realize that Jesus always looks at us properly. There are no prejudices, suspicions and misunderstandings. He sees a real human and cares first and foremost to show God’s greater glory in everything. For God, I am always His glory (Saint Irenaeus: “The glory of God is a living human”). This is an important matter, because in our behavior we have a completely different attitude. We are suspicious, stubborn, smart, arrogant and incredulous of the integrity of others. Pride does not allow us to see the world properly beyond the tip of our nose. Such selfishness is contrary to the call of following Jesus, who constantly transcends internal barriers and is simply good to others. This Gospel clearly shows that God is good. God is very good and nothing will prevent His goodness. Maybe it is time that we also ask ourselves the question: Am I good to others? Or maybe I’m just good for myself and my interests?

Asking myself this question, I think that sometimes it would be worth losing sight to finally learn to look at others through Jesus’ eyes.

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Where does prayer come from? Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.

CCC 2559

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