Sounds ridiculous. However, our human nature seeks explanations. We want to know; we want to understand and mostly we want to control. We can easily forget that there are powers beyond our control. One microscopic virus has turned the world upside down. The virus has shown us how vulnerable we are. Our lives have been disrupted. Our economy, our education system, even our religion has been affected. A natural reflex action is to blame someone. Someone, some country, some political party must be to blame for the disaster we are experiencing. Much of what we have taken for granted is not available. Everyday commodities cannot be found. We feel helpless. There’s got to be a solution. When will this disease end? When can we resume our normal lives? And since there are no answers to our satisfaction, then someone has to be to blame! We are creatures of habit. We do not like change. The Pharisees were no different from us. They had their routines, religious practices, laws which kept the establishment in order. A man born blind was considered a sinner, impure, untouchable. Jesus broke all the rules. Jesus got close to the blind man, spoke to him and touched him. (Perhaps given our present circumstances we can appreciate the tension of touching a person considered to be unclean.) The blind man didn’t have the virus that we fear, but the same mentality applied because he was blind. Something good happened, a miracle happened because Jesus dared to approach a person in need.
There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. At times we refuse to look at the faces of people on the street asking for help. We close our eyes to an elderly person who keeps repeating the same thing. If children are watching unhealthy programs we pretend not to notice. (We rationalize that at least they are entertained.) Our eyes are the windows of our soul and we are responsible for what we let in. Make no mistake, what we allow ourselves to see and what we fail to see has consequences that affect our soul. People wonder about fears from the past which keep surfacing. Dreams that cause us to wake up feeling exhausted. Thoughts that won’t go away even after we have celebrated Reconciliation. They are marks which have influenced the fabric of our lives for the better and for the not so good.
Something good can come from an apparent evil. We can all try to be patient in the situation about which we can do nothing. Since many of us are forced to stay home, now is the time to improve family relationship. Maybe we have forgotten the importance of conversation, just spending time together, sharing concerns. Family members might be victims of anxiety and voicing their concerns helps to alleviate them. Fasting from electronic gadgets will inevitably promote interaction. The exception is to use our apparatuses to reach out to folks who are alone. We do not know how long the restrictions will last. Our call is to live one day at a time—to appreciate the limitations in spite of the inconvenience. No one is to blame. The cotangent is an equalizer. The virus does not discriminate—we are all susceptible. We need to focus on our commonalities, not our differences. The Pharisees wanted to keep the barriers between those considered religious and those labeled as sinners. Our Lord came to break down barriers. He emphasized that we are all loved by God, regardless of our past, our feelings of unworthiness, our social status. God does not withhold His mercy. Now is the time to recall who is in charge. Prayer of petition is the most popular and God knows our needs before we ask. Prayer is for us. We grow. We change. We do not loose hope.
Like the blind man our eyes can be opened to the needs of our family and those around us. Once we see we want to reach out as Jesus did, always in charity.