December 07, 2018 (Friday of the first week of Advent: St Ambrose)
The blind see
Dear friends in Christ, today we celebrate the memorial of St Ambrose (Bishop and Doctor) He was born of a Roman family and became the prefect of Liguria and Emilia, with Milan as its Capital. When the position of the bishop of Milan became vacant, due to the conflict between the Arians and Catholics, the people turned to Ambrose, who was trying to make peace, and by popular acclamation demanded he become the Bishop. Within a week, he was baptised, ordained and installed bishop. He gave his belongings to the poor and the church, learned theology and was assiduous in carrying out his duties with charity to all. He was influential in the conversion of St Augustine to Catholicism, by his intelligence and scholarship.
In the first reading (Isaiah 29:17-24) the prophet promises a time of joy and happiness in which God will heal the sick of the land. The salvation of God will involve the whole of the human person, in all aspects: physical, social, and spiritual. This salvation will also include the transformation of the environment. The wasteland will once again bear fruit and become habitable. “Is it not yet a very little while, until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest? In that day, the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and of their gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord and the poor among men shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.”
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:27-31) presents a fulfilment of the prophesy of Isaiah, that the eyes of the blind shall see. The two men though physically blind, approached Jesus with faith. What they lacked physically, was made up by their faith. They cried aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” The healing confirmed their faith. Many of those who were around Jesus were yet to believe him, to be the Messiah; but that was what these blind men professed. You may say, ‘I have my sight!’ But what do you see? Are you able to recognise Jesus in the Eucharist and in those around you? Have you accepted him as your Lord and Saviour? Do you posses beyond the book knowledge of Jesus, to a personal experience of Him? These blind men could well represent all those who have come to believe in Jesus and have taken it upon themselves to become God’s instruments by opening the eyes of others, “they went away and spread his fame through all that district.”
We are called as disciples of Christ, to open our eyes and recognise him as the Messiah. We must also do more by bringing others to him, helping them to realise their need for Christ so that they might share in the blessings of the new age.
Let us pray: O God, open the eyes of our mind to truly appreciate your message. Help us to follow the path that leads to life. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.