Seeing and Hearing

First Reading: Jas 1:19-27
Psalm: Ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5
Gospel: Mk 8:22-26

The gospel today tells us of the healing of a blind man in the vicinity
of Bethsaida, a town along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus
healed the blind man not in one dramatic action, but instead, he healed
him by using spittle and in a gradual manner.

What is the good news today? What is the message conveyed indirectly
to us by this story? What do the action and words of Jesus teach us?
The words, “Do you see anything?” is not only addressed to the blind
man, but also to everyone who hears the gospel as proclaimed throughout
the ages.

In earlier verses (Mk 8:17-18), Jesus asked his companions in the boat,
“Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do
you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?” He asked these questions
because he saw their lack of understanding even after they had seen and
experienced the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fishes.
As we reflect and contemplate the gospel today, Jesus asks the same
questions: “Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and ears but not
see and hear?” Having experienced his love and mercy, Jesus also asks:
“Do you see anything?” What would be our response to him?
Perhaps we should recall the words of Jesus at the start of his
ministry. He said: “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and
recovery of sight to the blind…Today this scripture passage is
fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4: 18-21) Indeed grace and healing
builds up in our hearts gradually in the same manner as the healing of
the blind man in today’s gospel.