Bishop Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles
Lake Charles, Louisiana
October 25, 2015
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Master, I want to see.” Mark 10:51
“Master, I want to see” is the cry of everyone who calls out to the Lord for faith to continue living. It is the cry of parents who mourn a deceased child, the cry of someone who is dying, the cry of the person who lost his job, and the person of faith living in a topsy-turvy world where values are disregarded and truth is ignored. It is also the cry of the blind man in the Gospel who appeals to the “Son of David” to “have pity on [him]” (Mark 10:48). The blind man has something to teach us.
“I want to see” is a prayer for faith. Blindness can be physical or spiritual. Jesus gives the blind physical sight so that now seeing the man can increase in faith. St. John Vianney once wrote that when we are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, looking at the host following the words of Consecration, we should utter the prayer, “Lord, make me to see.” This is the idea. Even though we see physically, there can remain in us some blindness that prevents us from seeing the entire truth. This sight is the assent of an act of faith. But this assent is not merely an intellectual assent. We can believe, but there is always a call for a deeper assent to the mystery. Assent challenges us to delve more deeply into the depth of our soul, embracing a mystery, which is God’s presence in us through Grace.
When the blind man calls out “Son of David,” he is referring to the ancient Jewish title for the Messiah. The blind man is saying, in effect, that Jesus is the fulfillment of a hope, the hope that God would reveal Himself fully and come to save His people. The blind man is professing faith in Jesus as the fulfillment of the desires and aspirations of the Chosen People. Thousands of years of history, volumes of prophecies, and the longing of countless holy and just men and women meet in Jesus Christ the “Son of David.” The blind man wants to see this hope of ages.
The depth of the blind man’s faith reminds us that it is all about Jesus. When the blind man learns that it is Jesus passing along the way, he cries out for pity. People standing near him “rebuked him, telling him to be silent” (Mark 10:48). But the blind man ignored them. He only cried out more. That blind man was tenacious, holding on for dear life to the faith he had that Jesus could give him what he did not have, his sight.
The crowd is like the world. The world tries to silence us, marginalizing faith, shaming us somehow into keeping faith to ourselves. The secular world looks at a person of faith with skepticism and suspicion. To the secular world the person of faith is a fanatic. But the blind man is no fanatic. All he wants is to see the Lord. “Master, I want to see.”
We need to ask ourselves, where is my cry for faith? Do I really believe that with faith I can move mountains? When I pray for something and do not receive it, is my faith in God challenged? Or do I see this moment as an invitation to see how God is giving me something greater? Does the voice of the world silence me in my plea for faith or do I call out all the more? These are the questions I think we need to ask ourselves if we wish to see. The less we are centered on ourselves and more on the origin of all good, then the closer we will be to receiving what we need most. “Master, I want to see.”
Bishop Glen John Provost