Scripture today features blindness and seeing. The first reading sees the Israelites returning to the Lord, “all of them, the blind and the lame”. Similarly, Christ heals the blind man in body and soul. Let’s confess if we’re blind to the truth in our lives..
Before I begin the homily, let’s close our eyes. Imagine walking around in darkness. That was the blind man before Christ cured him. Now open your eyes. See everything. That was the joy of the blind man when his eyes were opened, and who did he see when he opened his eyes? The Lord. Jesus opened his eyes in that way too. What did the blind man do then? Did he walk away? Did he go back into the darkness? Did he abandon Jesus? No! “He followed him faithfully along the road”. We’re all called to do the same.
We began that journey with Him at baptism where we promised to leave behind unbelief, sin and death. Cured of inner blindness and sin, we had Christ’s glory within. But have we followed him faithfully on life’s road since?.
It’s not enough to have our eyes opened, they must stay so. We must walk with Christ all life long as faithful members of his church as we promised at baptism and confirmation. We must come each Sunday to hear his word and receive him in communion as part of His life-long family of salvation. We must go out and bear the fruits of that faithful discipleship as his holy people in everyday life, witnessing to his values rather than those of a corrupt world, and so lighting it back to truth and justice. For only by such living worship and faithful witness do we keep our eyes open and keep safely on the right road that makes us wise and happy. For following him is happiness for this world too, besides leading to a final vision of God in heaven for eternity.
Its one thing to say we must do this, however, and another thing to actually do it, for it’s not easy. We’re constantly tempted to go back into the darkness by powerful anti-Christian forces of the world, the flesh and the Devil. Hence, as Paul says, though many have seen the light, some show they prefer darkness. So the call for us today is to keep our eyes open, to be wary of any distraction that leads us away from the faithful following of Christ. Our eyes must be open all the time to worldly temptations to water down the faith, abandon or pay lip service to it. We must constantly renew our commitment within the arms of mother church where Christ lives in Word and Sacrament.
Eyes wide open, we must be on our guard lest the evil one lure us down another road, the road where the blind lead the blind into the ditch. For as one wise man said, though all are called to follow Christ faithfully along his way, many are more often “by the way” or “in the way”. And that’s the other lesson of the gospel today. Like the blind man we mustn’t just open our eyes to Christ and follow him on the way, we must help others, especially loved ones, to come to his light and follow his path as well; like the blind man preaching even to haughty Pharisees, we must be his light to all around us, leading them out of darkness.
For that purpose, as the year ends and days get cold, the church puts before us the end of things, death, judgement and Christ’s second coming. Not to frighten us but keep us focussed on the path, so that when its end comes Christ will meet us with the all the saints and say, “well done good and faithful servant”. For the cold values of a godless world of which Satan is lord, pass and leave us lost by life’s roadside, but Christ is the way, the truth and the life for happiness in this world and forever and ever, amen. As God’s own, cured of blindness by Christ’s death and resurrection, following him faithfully and leading others along the road to every happiness, lets profess our faith…
Prayers of the faithful
Let’s pray now for the things that need to that glorious lord..
For church leaders, especially our Holy Father, may they follow the right way themselves and lead the flock of the whole world out of darkness and evil into God’s light of truth and goodness..
For our civil leaders that they may follow the right way of public life, one of integrity and service of all the people, especially the poor, needy and oppressed of our society..
For youth, may they not wander from the way they began at baptism and continued in Holy Communion and Confirmation, but follow Christ faithfully along life’s road, practising their faith so as to come safely to their heavenly home, and show others the way.
For ourselves in our homes, may we lead our children wisely on the right way, sharing our faith with them and bringing them to the light of life in God, for happiness here and hereafter..
For the sick, the aged, the lonely and the troubled in mind, body or soul that through healing love and care they may be comforted and healed and know the love of God.
For the dead who still need our remembrance and prayers to light them home, that they come safely to their heavenly rest..
And we ask all these, our prayers through Christ, the way, the truth and the life forever and ever, amen.
We all get lost at times, driving round and round, not knowing where we are. In Christ and his church we’re never lost spiritually. Even death is not an end, but journey’s end. Like someone who comes to his home, turns off the engine and the car lights, and walks up the driveway to a house where his relatives, friends and loved ones wait. Let’s all keep on the way with Christ in this world so as to reach that happy journey’s end..Hail Mary