Sunday, March 06, 2011
The Blind Beggar
Today's Gospel, for Quinquagesima the threshold of Lent, finds a blind beggar on the roadside near Jericho. Why is he there? Why is he blind? Why, for that matter, is there blindness, or infirmity, or anguish, or sorrow, or pain, or death? God is good, so why is there evil? The question is really insidious, for what it really does is question whether God is in fact good. Yet the question pops up in the heart, indicating the sinfulness of the heart: such a question was first asked in Eden, by the Serpent (hath God indeed said . . .); but now it springs from the heart. The offspring of Eve find in their nature the wickedness first spawned by the devil.
Repent! And find instead in the example of the blind man a pattern for faith. For instead of allowing himself to be cowed by the rebukes of those who would silence his faithful cry for mercy, he cries all the louder. So sure is he of the Savior's mercy that he cries above the din, until Jesus hears and commands him to be brought unto Him.
And all he wants is to see! For of all times to be disappointed at the inability to see, surely this was the bitterest: Jesus is passing by, and he cannot see Him. So Jesus grants him sight immediately, and the first thing he sees is Jesus! So through his enlightened eyes we gain a glimpse of the beatific vision, when at the last our eyes shall see Him, shall behold His face in righteousness. The same eyes that wept so often shall be filled with the glorious sight of eternal beatitude.
This, then, is why Jesus had to go to Jerusalem, though His disciples were loath to go there of all places. It was in order to meet blind Bartimaeus, and more than that, to go the way of the cross to redeem us all, and to give us all, finally, through His merciful kindness, light, and life, and a heavenly vision that shall never end.