Last night I felt a little sleepless like maybe so many of you. It is a very worrying time and we fear for the world and our loved ones who are vulnerable. Bearing in mind the pandemic, I have just been looking at our Gospel today from St. John and his account of Jesus’ meeting with the man born blind and the man`s cure. I have prayed for a while and the following thoughts have come to me and I share them with you.
Firstly, the man is blind. He is familiar with isolation and limitation. Jesus comes to him in his confined state and He ministers to him. One of the effects of the virus has been to cause isolation. I pray that all who are now restricted, maybe in great fear, will feel the Lord coming to them and being with them in a communion of love and reassurance. I pray in particular for those seriously ill in hospital.
Secondly, Jesus touches the blind man. The virus has made all touch suspicious and rightfully so as this is the main form of transmission. God`s touch is always healing and reassuring. A touch we can all trust and will help us. I want humanity to sense God`s arms around all of us at this time. When Jesus puts the paste He makes on the blind man`s eyes he is not cured immediately, he must go to the pool and wash. I can imagine the man reaching out and groping for the pool as we do when our eyes are full of soap and we reach around for a towel. Whereas the blind man maybe groped in despair so many times in the past, he now gropes with the gift of hope, with the Lord`s instruction in his mind and heart. Let us pray for the gift of hope in all anxious hearts at this time. As humanity strives to contain, to save, to cure, may it do so with hope which God willingly gives in abundance.
Finally, my dear people, the blind man had lived in an all permeating darkness which must have seemed inescapable to him until he met Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the World, a light that can permeate and dispel the most profound darkness. One of the prayers of the Rosary is “May the Divine assistance remain with us”; God is and always will be. May the Divine Light that is our God be in every heart today, in every hospital, every home and wherever someone needs the touch of hope.
God bless you all, Fr. Gerard.