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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 8, 22-26

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch.

He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then, putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, 'Can you see anything?'

The man, who was beginning to see, replied, 'I can see people; they look like trees as they walk around.'

Then he laid his hands on the man's eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly.

And Jesus sent him home, saying, 'Do not even go into the village.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Before Peter’s profession of faith, Mark places the healing of a blind man. We are towards the end of the first part of the Gospel, in which Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah, sent by God to begin his kingdom. The miracles he performed have been a sign of it. But the disciples are struggling to understand and see. A new miracle of Jesus is needed so that their eyes may be opened and they may begin to see. The story is basic. They lead a blind man to Jesus and “begged him to touch him.” Prayer is often the beginning of the miracle. Those people know that just the contact with Jesus is enough for healing. But Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. It seems that Jesus wants to be alone with this man. He does not want publicity. He wants to help him regain his sight by taking him along. We assist in an unusual way a progression in healing, as if Jesus wanted to show that there is no sudden cure for blindness. At first he laid his hands on him, after putting saliva on his eyes, and he asked, “Can you see anything?” The man replied, “I can see people, but they look like trees walking.” How difficult it is to see the others. We are so used to looking at ourselves that we struggle to recognize our neighbours, and when we do, they appear blurred and unrecognizable. Yes, we are still all a bit short-sighted. Our neighbours, especially when they are in need, remain mostly a blurry and distant reality. But Jesus does not give up; on the contrary he knows that he must continue to lay his hands on us so that we may see. “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” The Word of God that we hear every day is like Jesus’ hands that help us see and understand. We need to see with Jesus’ eyes, we need to learn to look with mercy and compassion, as Jesus looked at the hungry crowd that followed him. Only in this way will we be healed of our blindness and able to help others to see. Open the eyes of our heart, Lord, that we may see you and recognize you as our Lord, so we can see and care for others.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets