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Healing of the Blind Beggar

Fr. Scott Haynes

In various cultures, public grieving, public expression of grief, lamentation is the common place. In the Bible, we even find an entire Book of Lamentations, which is a lament, an expression of deep grief over the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 587 before Christ.


In Gaelic literature, there is an entire category devoted to lamentation, poems about grief. And about one hundred years ago, if you were to attend an Irish wake, you could expect to see professional mourners there, women who were, strangely enough, paid to come and wail and lament and list all the good things about the dead person.... public grieving turned professional, if you will.


By contrast, noisy expressions of grief are frowned upon in our modern Western culture. We are expected to put on a stoic face. But Jesus himself, in the Garden of Gethsemane, cried out to God,

“My God, my God, why have your forsaken me? If it be possible, let this chalice pass from me.”

In the Gospel scene where Our Savior heals the blind beggar, we hear the deep which comes from the recesses of his heart,

Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

He repeats the cry. But that cry could not be silenced by the crowd. So, he repeats,

“Son of David, have pity on me.”

Notice that it is only when the blind beggar found the courage to express his sense of loss, his grief, it’s only then that healing could take place.


The Church Fathers remark that, while this beggar was physically blind, the eyes of his soul were enlightened by the grace of God, because he had put total confidence in Jesus. In the writings of the saints, we see they uphold the blind beggar as an outstanding example of earnest and humble prayer.


When we come to the Divine Physician in prayer, the Fathers of the Church teach us to come to Him as blind beggars. We should cry out to Him, asking to receive illumination each day, as we give glory unto the Lord our God.


The blind man! O, they tried to silence him. But he would not be silenced. His shout was a prayer. It was a prayer that was heard by Christ the great physician. We join our prayer to his.

"Jesus, son of David, have pity on me a sinner."

When the Lord touches you and heals you in the sacraments how can you do anything else but “spread word of him through all that land.” Amen.

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