The Jews expected that many signs and wonders, such as making the blind to see, would accompany the coming of the Messiah. Elsewhere in the Gospels we read that the people were murmuring about Jesus that He ‘does all things well.’ This is a clear reference to the signs and wonders that were to accompany the coming of the Messiah. In today’s Gospel we witness one of these miracles and in the First reading we see how the prophet Isaiah is one of those who contributed to the Messianic expectations of the Jewish people.
The great wonder in all this is that the Jewish people as a whole rejected Jesus as the Messiah. This, to us with the benefit of hindsight, seems to be almost unbelievable! How on earth could they have been so blind that they failed to recognise Jesus as the Messiah? It is an easy question to ask, but not so easy to give a simple answer. So I will ask a different question instead! Why do we today, 2000 years after the advent of Christ, still find it so difficult to recognise Jesus at work in our lives and to proclaim Him as Lord and Saviour of all that we do?
Perhaps if we try to answer this second question we will get some insight into the answer to the first one! Once we begin to look at our own lives and begin to see the difficulties we have in truly living our lives in submission to the will of God, we might begin to understand some of the internal conflicts that occurred in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people 2000 years ago. Faith can be a difficult sort of entity to grasp hold of at times. The smallest of doubts or uncertainties seems to be able to cause problems in our understanding way out of proportion to the doubt! Sometimes the evidence seems to be conflicting, however, this is usually due to our judging it by the standards of the world and not by the standards of God.
Before we are too quick in condemning the Jews of Jesus’ time for their lack of faith in him as the messiah, or those of our own day and age who seem to be without faith, let us first thank god for the gift of faith in our own lives and then look for ways to help others come to a deeper faith response to the Gospel in their own lives.
How can I improve the witness of faith in Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me in my life?
Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to live my life by faith in a deeper way each day so that I may give a positive witness of faith to the world.