Thursday 16 September 2021

Twenty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Word for Today
The Gospel of Luke 7:36-50


It is always blind. It is mathematical, it is an axiom. It is always terribly, stubbornly, incredibly, completely blind. Sometimes it is bold and brash, sometimes shameless and impudent and almost always brazen, but it is always, always blind. It is extremely dangerous and when it turns into arrogance it becomes lethal for human survival, because it is not only blind, it is absolutely certain of being able to see and of being the only one to see clearly and completely. What is it?
It is the the companion of the Pharisee who invited Jesus to dinner. It is presumption. Presumption is always terribly, stubbornly, incredibly and totally blind, and worse, it believes it is the only one to see clearly. It is presumption that makes stupid and blind Simon's reasoning, as he says to himself, about Jesus and the woman who is caressing His feet, 
If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner. Presumption thinks it can see, understand, know; instead it is blind, perfectly, totally blind. Simon is sure that he has understood, he is sure that he knows Jesus and the sinful woman. He is certain that he is able to see, he is certain that he knows, but he is blind, totally blind, his vision obscured. Jesus lovingly and kindly points it out to him in an amiable, kind way. In fact, Jesus turns to Simon with a question that could only be asked of a blind man: Do you see this woman? It is evident that Jesus speaks to Simon as if he were perfectly blind, even worse, as if he were a blind man suffering the most incurable blindness, that which occurs when a blind man thinks he can see. Simon is full of presumption of being able to see, to understand, to perceive. In truth his presumption makes him blind and foolish, unreasonable and disrespectful. Jesus uses this question to open Simon's eyes to a deep, obvious truth: until that moment Simon had not seen anything about life, about himself, about God, and nothing about the Jesus standing in front of him, about the woman at Jesus' feet who is filling every corner of the house with the fragrance of love.
Throughout His earthly experience, in every word and gesture, Jesus always tries to open people's eyes to an obvious fact: presumption makes people blind.