November 14th, 2022 – Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s Gospel presents us with the healing of the blind man as Christ drew near to Jericho. The blind man hears the crowd go by, and is told that “Jesus of Nazareth” is there. The blind man must have known something about Jesus other than what the crowds told him, and the drama of the Gospel revolves around who the crowds say Jesus is, and who the blind man knows him to be. The crowds only tell him that Jesus is “of Nazareth,” but the man, blind though he is, sees into the depths, and recognizes Jesus as the son of David.
Notice the response of the crowds: they try to silence the man. It’s clear the procession wasn’t a silent one, since the man heard all the noise and commotion. What is it that the crowds find annoying and that needs to be silenced? What bothers the crowd is that title, “Son of David.” It’s a Messianic title, and it means to recognize the authority and power of Christ.
“Jesus of Nazareth” is safe; it’s just a name and a place of birth. “Son of David,” on the other hand, opens a world of possibilities; if Jesus really is the Messiah, then the evil of the man’s blindness, and so many other things, should find their true meaning and purpose.
The people in the crowd probably weren’t bad people; they didn’t prevent the blind man from going to Jesus, and all rejoiced when the man was healed. Yet, their faith fell short of perfection, if we can even call it faith. The same thing can happen to us: sometimes we’re content to let Jesus be just “Jesus of Nazareth,” just a figure who’s important. Really, though, He must always and in every moment be “the Son of David,” the Messiah who comes with power into our lives, and who gives meaning to every little thing, even the smallest trial and difficulty. Let us pray, through the intercession of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy, for the grace to keep ever in mind Jesus’ power and presence in our lives.