It is true; there are many in the world who are blind. But there is, of course, more than one kind of blindness…
It is true; there are many in the world who are blind. There is, of course, more than one kind of blindness. There is the physical blindness of the eyes, and there is the blindness of ignorance. Worse yet, there is the blindness of the heart that erupts in rage and hatred, and the blindness of the wholly self-obsessed ego, that can see nothing beyond the narrow and limited horizons of itself. And there is that curious ‘blindness’ that is the product of having one’s eyes always cast upon the things of this world, never lifting them up to the light and the wisdom of Heaven.
Before the birth of Jesus people’s experiences of suffering were no different than ours. The difference between the people of Isaiah’s time and ourselves is not in kind, but in the fact that the Messiah they longed for and put their hope in has, in fact, come. We know the Messiah. Jesus walked among us and fulfilled every promise that the prophets, like Isaiah, had spoken about for generation after generation. And still, there is so much blindness in our world.
We all suffer from partial blindness, even though we know Jesus. Why? Because we are human and we still fail, even though we know and love Jesus. We are not perfected yet. St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:9-13: ʺFor we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears…For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.ʺ Though we are not yet ‘complete’ we live in faith and hope. We believe and hope in the perfection of love that Jesus showed us in his life, death and resurrection. We know that, even in our incompleteness, he asks us to love as he loved. And in our hope we have faith that, in the end, love conquers all.
Because we know what Paul tells us here is true, we can go to Jesus in our blindness, just as the two blind men spoken of in Matthew’s Gospel did: ʺAs Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’…’Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their sight was restored.ʺ (Mt. 9:27-30) If we believe; if we recognize our own blindness, whatever form it takes, and go to Jesus, he will heal us. We will ʺseeʺ him, finally, face to face, and we will know we are loved, infinitely. When this happens we will, like these two men, go out and ʺspread word about him all over that region.ʺ (Mt. 9:31)