But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
At a recent appointment, my two-year old and I were waiting to see the doctor who had been delayed in surgery. Over the course of time, the toddler was restless, and we asked to be rescheduled. Another doctor was able to see us, and we waited to see her instead. Once we were in the room, I was checked, and the doctor listened to the fetal heart tones. As she pressed on one side of my tummy, from within our little one pushed back on her hand. She laughed as she went to record in my chart and said, “I think this one is going to keep your hands full!” I looked over at my two-year old and said, “Really?!” Most of the time, the mere size of our family has people making the “hands full” comment. It’s true. Hands and hearts are full, but always with room for more. That’s how love is. My thought is that this little one needs to be able to hold her own even before she is born. She has also already learned from her older brothers and sisters. They love to feel her kick or move and will push on my stomach until she does.
Like the learning going on in our home and even within my womb, the blind man in Sunday’s gospel had some learning to do. In Sunday’s gospel (John 9: 1-41), our homily pointed out four main parts of the story. As each of us needs to continue learning and growing, from before we are born until the day we die, the blind man in this gospel needed to delve deeper into learning who Jesus is.
In this story, Jesus initiates the contact with the blind man. The blind man does not seek Him out, begging for mercy or healing. Jesus asks the blind man if he wants to see. He seeks out the man not once but twice. He seeks us out as well.
Jesus heals not with a word or touch but with His saliva and clay. He shows that God is continuing to create in this world. Creation did not stop after the Book of Genisus. Even as I type, my little one, created by God in His own image, kicks me from within to help me know that God continues to create to this day.
The clay and saliva alone do not give the blind man his sight back. Jesus tells him to go to Siloam, which means sent, to wash. Going to Siloam is accepting Jesus’ mission to be sent. Like in baptism, we all accept Jesus’ invitation to be sent in God’s will for our lives.
The blind man is slow to accept who Jesus is. Baptism is not the end of our journey of discipleship. The journey is a lifetime journey.
He sustains each of us in our lifelong journeys. We are called to be sent to mature in our faith. We are called to discern every day ever more clearly God’s active engagement in our lives. God has a specific purpose for each and every one of us. We only need to open our eyes of our hearts in order to see it. Sometime opening the eyes of our hearts means closing our actual eyes to the world around us, to the call and distractions of the secular world.
As we prepare our home for the birth of our newest little, we are also trying to empty our hearts of distractions and secular concerns in order to have eyes only for Him and His purpose for our lives.