“Rabbi, I want to see!” the blind man says to Jesus in today’s Gospel. “On your way,” Jesus replies. “Your faith saves and heals you” And the blind man recovers his sight and follows Jesus down the road.
Let’s put ourselves alongside this blind man in the Gospel. We’re blind too, in so many ways. We’re on the roadside of life. We hear Jesus is approaching and we try to get his attention. We’re told to be quiet by people who should know better, but they don’t! So we don’t keep quiet. We cry out all the louder: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stops in his tracks (the Gospel says!), calls us over and inquires: “What can I do for you?” Like the blind man in today’s Gospel, we cry out, “Rabbi, we too want to see!”
“O Rabbi, we want to see past the laws and rules that impose Sunday obligations to attend Mass. We want to see the joy of your Spirit alive in this Eucharist community of Jesus Our Shepherd.
Rabbi, we want to see past the labels and loyalties that keep us apart: labels like Catholic, UCC, Methodist, Lutheran; we want to experience that heart-felt faith that unites us all as a people baptized in your name.
Rabbi, we want to see beyond the hundreds of canons in the Code of Canon Law that restrict and limit and impose penalties on people who think and act “outside the box”; we want to see and be outside the box because that’s where your Spirit is alive and working.
O Rabbi Jesus, we want to see beyond the broken heart of a failed marriage so we can experience a renewed call to human companionship and intimacy in our lives.
Yes, Rabbi Jesus, we want to see beyond the dire warnings and threats of small-minded preachers who tell us about hell and fire and damnation; we want to see the overwhelming mercy and compassion of your Abba God visited upon us.
Rabbi, we want to see past the ever shrinking numbers of celibate male priests and past the equally shrinking number of once thriving parishes; we want to see an inclusive ordained ministry of women and men, married and celibate, working side by side, sharing their gifts and talents, bringing new life to dead and empty churches.
O Rabbi, we want to see beyond the purity rules and regulations that prevent some baptized people from eating at your table; we want to see all people nourished and enjoying your company and each other’s company at your Table fellowship.
Rabbi Jesus, we want to see beyond the self-proclaimed infallibility of popes, an infallibility that cannot stand up under the scrutiny of church history; we want to understand that God’s Spirit alone is infallible and deserving of our trust.
Rabbi, we want to see past the arrogance and isolation of some priests and bishops who know little more than how to lord it over people; we want to see ministers who reflect the love and compassion of your own heart!
Yes, Rabbi, we are blind to so many things. Help us see things as you see things.” Then marvel of marvels, Rabbi Jesus looks us in the eye as he did the blind man in the Gospel story, and declares: “On your way now! Your faith saves and heals you.” In this instant we are healed. We recover our sight and we now have a new way of seeing things as we follow Jesus down the road. And we are forever grateful!