MONDAY HOMILY: 33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR A
THEME: DON’T LISTEN TO NEGATIVE VOICES
By: Karabari Paul
‘Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me’
The Latin dictum says: ‘Vox populi, Vox Dei’ (The voice of the people is the voice of God). However, this is admittedly correct only if the voice so projected is not the voice of evil people. The voice of wicked people trying to stop God’s goodness, as we shall see in today’s Gospel, can’t represent God’s voice. God can’t consu an t evil voice.
He often uses the most simple and unlikely people to teach us the most profound spiritual lessons.
Today’s Gospel passage (Luke 18:35-43) talks about
a blind beggar. Every day was the same in beggar’s darkened world. When he heard people passing by, he would cry out, “Alms for the blind! Alms for the blind!” But today was different. A larger than usual crowd was making its way past this beggar. When he asked what was happening, he was told, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He instantly thought, “Jesus of Nazareth? He is not just Jesus of Nazareth, a great prophet! He is the Son of David, the Messiah! I have heard about Himarvellousus teachings and how He has healed the sick and raised the dead. And, I have heard that He has opened the eyes of the blind!”
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The man instantly knew that this was his window of opportunity. Jesus was passing by. So, n He would be gone, never to pass that way again. Like a halfback who sees a brief opening in the line, the beggar plunged through. He began to shout at the top of his voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those near him said, “Shut up, old man! He shouted even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The beggar wouldn’t be silenced. This was his only chance, and he wasn’t going to miss it.
The multitude said, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” but the beggar didn’t cry out, “Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me.” He cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This beggar was blind, but he saw something significant about Jesus: He is the Son of David. People with desperate faith see in Jesus what others do not see. That makes a stark difference.
The beggar didn’t appeal to God on the basis of merit. No, he knew that he was a blind beggar with no claim for healing. He had nothing in himself to commend himself to Christ. Like the publican in Jesus’ parable, he just cried out for mercy. Luke wants us to see that we all are blind beggars before God. Satan has “blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4). Before God, we are “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). This is perhaps the major stumbling block that keeps people from coming to Christ: they want to commend themselves and their good deeds.
Whenever you trust in God, you will encounter hindrances. The beggar cried out to Jesus in faith, and the crowd sternly told him to shut up. But the more they told him to be quiet, the louder he shouted. This was his one opportunity to be healed, and he wasn’t about to sit there passively. He persisted until Jesus heard him. He was like the widow in Jesus’ parable we had just a few days ago. She kept hounding the judge until he granted her request. The beggar refused to be regulated by the opinions of others. So many of us have been stopped because we have allowed the negative voices around us to dictate our pace. They have become our gods. So many things would change about us only if we bracket what they say and focus on what God is saying about us.
Probably, those who told the man to be quiet were embarrassed by his bold outcry. They felt he was in that condition because he had sinned. But he didn’t care what people thought about him. He cared about one thing: he wanted to see! He knew man would condemn him but not Jesus. We must all know the difference.
Our prayers must be specific in focus. Jesus asked him pointedly, “What do you want me to do for you?” Prayers without specific intention floats. His question was designed to get the beggar to be specific in stating his need in front of the crowd. “Lord, I want to receive my sight.” This response also confessed that he believed that Jesus had the power to give him sight.
We must glorify God for every favour received. The beggar didn’t go around telling everyone about his great faith. Yes, Jesus affirmed that his faith saved him, but clearly, He means that the beggar’s faith was the means through which salvation came to him. It was God’s power through Jesus that gave him his sight. The power and will to heal rested completely with the Lord. Faith is just the hand that receives God’s gift of eternal life, and even faith is a gift from God. No one can boast in his great faith. We can only glory in God who opened our eyes and showed us His great mercy. And we have seen that there are opportune spiritual moments when Jesus passes by. At such times, we should cry out to Him in faith. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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