29 October 2006

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today's Gospel, the words of the crowd to the blind man are striking -- arresting, even: "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." The blind man had been calling out to Jesus to have pity on him and had been rebuked by the crowd; and now that Jesus asked for the blind man to be brought to him, the crowd speaks a word of encouragement. The crowd speaks to us, too.

So often we call upon the Lord, begging for his mercy, asking for the grace to do his will. How often, however, do we stand poised with courage awaiting his response? Most of us, when we pray, have some idea of how we would like the Lord to respond to our plea. We want to desire God's will for us but, sometimes, deep down inside -- if we are really honest -- we hope that what we desire is already a part of God's plan for us. Desiring our will and God's will to be one in the same is a good and noble prayer -- so long as we are open to the Lord's will as it unfolds -- even when it is different from our own designs. This, indeed, is where courage is important. Jesus invites us to tell him our needs; do we have the courage to approach him?

Like the blind man, let us approach the Lord with unreserved courage. Let us call out to him. And when he draws us near -- when we draw near to him in prayer -- and he asks us what we want him to do for us, let us be honest and courageous in how we approach him. Perhaps it is a worthy prayer that we, like the blind man, may be blessed with the Lord's graces on account of our faith. And, like the blind man, let us follow the Lord who has done wonderful things for us.

"It is not sufficient to accept God's will generally.
We must accept it in every detail and circumstance."
St. Francis de Sales

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