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Jesus offers company

TWO FRIENDS, WALK

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 02/15/23

Very often we fail to recognize God’s grace when it manifests itself as having someone who is close to you.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him.” Today’s Gospel stresses one of the most important things in our faith: If our experience of Jesus is not tangible it remains an empty feel-good sermon. To touch means allowing faith to impact our lives not only intellectually, but experientially.  

Those who suffer do not need explanations – they need actual, real help. That is what Mark is highlighting. Jesus offers this man an experience:

“He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said, ‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”

The first thing Jesus offers this man is not a miracle, but company (“He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village”). Very often we fail to recognize God’s grace when it manifests itself as having someone who is close to you, who takes you by the hand and helps you. A Christian should always be able to shake hands with someone who feels in the dark. 

But then Jesus makes a gesture that is almost scandalous in its concreteness (“and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him”). For us Catholics, this concreteness is found in the sacraments. The Church knows that a handshake is not enough. We need concrete help. We need to feel the power of God’s grace in action. We find all of this in the sacraments.

In the end, healing occurs in two stages – gradually. In fact, all real changes are gradual. For, things that happen quickly sometimes also end quickly.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Tags:
DiscipleshipGospelLiturgyMassPrayerSpiritual Life
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