Introductory Prayer: Father, I come to you like the man born blind. I am totally dependent on your grace. I want to show you my love by being totally open to the graces you will give me through this meditation.
Petition: Lord, help my faith grow when I encounter adversity.
1. Who’s to Blame? Many people, moved by compassion, would drop a coin into the cup, thinking all the while, “Poor devil, must have been quite a sinner.” The disciples, though they had heard Jesus’ many parables about mercy, show a tiny bit of this “misfortune-equals-divine-punishment” outlook themselves. But, perhaps it could have been his parents who are to blame? The disciples are frequently criticized for being slow on the uptake, but that is because they are the mirror that deflects the criticism from where it should really go: to ourselves. How often, when bad things happen, we wonder if God really loves us. We can find ourselves shaking our fist and muttering, “He doesn’t care what happens to me.” Jesus’ answer to this lack of faith is as sharp as it is consoling: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God´s works might be revealed in him.”
2. Faith Can Grow through Adversity! The simple life of the formerly blind beggar became quite complicated indeed. Instead of encountering rejoicing friends and family upon receiving the miracle, he encounters confrontation. The adversity is intense; the hostility of the Pharisees is palpable. Yet through it all, the man remains steadfast in his belief in Jesus. In fact, with each attack at his credibility and even with his parents wanting to keep a safe distance, the man’s adherence to Jesus grows and grows. This is seen in the way he refers to Jesus. “The man Jesus” … “He is a Prophet” … “I do believe, LORD.” From “man” to “prophet” to “Lord”: That is the work of God shining through this unlikely apostle! Let’s look at the situations in our life that challenge our faith. Could we, like this man, turn the tables and make it a faith-growing opportunity? Like him, could we be better witnesses to Jesus?
3. He Worshiped Him: Faith not only grows through adversity. It can sometimes make a giant leap. Nowhere else in the New Testament, before the Resurrection, do we encounter Jesus being “worshiped.” The man once blind now is gifted with dazzling light: Jesus is Lord, Jesus is God! That gift is so great, so amazing, that there is no looking back. The man has been tossed out of the synagogue which, according to the Jewish culture of the time, was the moral equivalent of a death sentence; cut off from the people, he was a non-person. Yet there are no regrets. The vision of spiritual truth, the astounding realization of who Jesus is, more than repays any sacrifice.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I long to please you with my life. Help me to recognize when you are trying to do God’s works through me. Often I am slow to see any positive value to passing adversity. But I know with your help I can be a witness to you. Like the man you cured of his blindness, I cry out to you, “I do believe, Lord!”
Resolution: Each time I encounter adversity, I will make an act of faith stronger than the last one.