For today's readings, click here.
This morning's readings present us with two very stark images. In the first reading, we have a group of people who are so desperate to not be identified as the People of God that they go to extremes: covering up evidence of their circumcision.
And then, in the Gospel today, we hear of Jesus healing a blind man. There is some irony here, of course: Jesus is journeying to Jerusalem, the City of David. The blind man calls out to him, identifying him as the Son of David. And yet, it will be in the City of David where the of David is abandoned by David's descendants, called an impostor!
However, the most extraordinary thing in the Gospel is the reaction of the people who see Jesus heal the blind man: they all go away glorifying God.
This is our call - our vocation - as Christians: to provide the world with a transparent witness that calls others to glorify God, not us!
We are called to serve in such a way so that we point always toward Christ and not toward ourselves. Ministry and service ought not only provide consolation to others, but also serve as a greater witness to God's power, so that God may receive glory.
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne provides us with an example of how to do this. A Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rose came to America as a missionary to begin schools for the French in America and founded some of the first schools to the west of the Mississippi River. At the age of seventy-two, Rose was allowed to do that which she most desired: serve as a missionary with the Native Americans. Yet, after only a year, the ravages of frontier life forced Rose from active ministry. Nevertheless, she remained on the frontier, engaged in a life of constant contemplation. Rose achieved such a reputation among the Native Americans that they gave her the name "She-Who-Prays-Always."
Would that this week, we give those we meet the strength to show their faith openly...
Would that this week, we minister in such a way cause others to give glory to God...
Would that this week, we be Christians-that-pray-always.