Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reflection for the 6th Week of Ordinary Time, Part 1

Monday – Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel both presented offerings to God. Abel took one of the very best firstlings from his flock and presented it with the greatest reverence. Cain brought some of his produce, not necessarily the best, and perhaps a bit grudgingly.

God accepted Abel's offering with favor, but He rejected Cain's. God could see their hearts. He knew the spirit in which the gifts had been given.

Cain was angry and resentful, but God reminded him that he could do well and hold up his head if he really wanted to. It was his choice.

Cain did not so choose. He decided to remain angry and, worse, to take his anger out on his brother in the most violent way. In a jealous rage, Cain killed Abel and buried his body in a field.

Did Cain think that God wouldn't know what had happened? If so, he didn't know God very well at all. God pointedly asked Cain where his brother was but only to push him to admit his crime.

Then God gave Cain a punishment that perfectly fit his crime. If Cain was so possessive of his produce to the point of begrudging it to God and then killing his brother, then God would take his produce away from him. God told Cain that the soil would no longer give him its fruits. Cain, who had so heartlessly planted his brother in a field, would be a wanderer over the earth, uprooted, without family, and all because he had refused to give his best to God and resented someone else who had.

Tuesday – Enthroned

My Lord, Who sits enthroned as King over the whole world, rule my life.
I give myself to You; I fall at Your feet in worship.
My Lord, Who sits enthroned as King over the whole world, enter into my heart.
I belong to You; fill me with Your presence.
My Lord, Who sits enthroned as King over the whole world, pour out Your grace upon me.
I reach out for Your healing touch; cleanse me from all sin and fear.
My Lord, Who sits enthroned as King over the whole world, take me home to Heaven.
I want to be with You for all eternity; bring me closer and closer to You.

Wednesday – A Strange Healing

It was a strange healing. Jesus stood before the blind man. He took spittle and put it on the man's eyes. Then He lay His hands on the man and asked, “Do you see anything?”

The man must have hesitated a bit before he answered. He could see something all right, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what. Finally he settled on, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” People looking like trees and walking? Huh?

Jesus didn't seem phased by the man's reply. He simply placed His hands on the man's eyes again. When He took them off, the man could see everything clearly. He was completely healed.

What happened here? Couldn't Jesus heal the blind man the first time around? Had He failed somehow?

Of course not! Jesus had proven the contrary many times before and after. We must assume, therefore, that this strange healing had a purpose behind it and a lesson for us. Perhaps the answer lies in faith. Jesus often said that faith contributes to people's healing. If they have faith, they can be healed. If not, they close themselves off to receiving the healing power that Jesus wishes to pour out upon them. He does not heal them without their consent and cooperation. 

Perhaps this blind man had some faith but not quite enough. Perhaps he started to cooperate with Jesus but then got cold feet or started doubting. Maybe he was taken aback by Jesus putting spittle on his eyes and started to wonder what that was all about and to close his heart. Maybe he needed a little jolt like seeing people who looked like trees to recall him to the task at hand. Maybe he could see enough to notice Jesus smiling at him with a knowing expression.

At any rate, the blind man had faith in the end. He was healed. He had opened himself completely to Jesus and His healing touch, and he completely received his sight, perhaps even more spiritually than physically.

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