The Reflections are copyright protected and permission to use them is requested.

February 20, 2019: Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Genesis 8:6-13,20-22
Gospel Mark 8:22-26

Then He laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly....

An obvious question leaps out from today’s Gospel narrative. Why did Jesus have to lay hands upon the blind man twice for him to see clearly? Doesn’t the fact that He did reveal some weakness or impotence on the part of Jesus?

There is an assumption within this latter question: that Jesus could not have healed the blind man by a single laying on of hands. But if Jesus could have done this, why did He not?

This question (neither Jesus Himself nor the evangelist specifies why Jesus laid hands upon the blind man twice) points to a general theological principle about God: that is, that God does not always effect His Providential Will in the most direct manner possible. In other words, God does not always choose to manifest His power in the briefest, most direct and most “efficient” manner possible.

This principle does not answer the question of why God acts as He does. But the truth behind this principle is related to another, that God sometimes chooses as the agents of His Will not the strongest, brightest, or best qualified. God has a love for the poor, the simple, and the feeble.

To return again to today’s Gospel narrative: perhaps Jesus wanted to foster perseverance within the blind man. Perhaps Jesus wanted the blind man to desire healing more deeply. Perhaps Jesus wanted the blind man to appreciate fully the gift he was being given. Regardless, the unfolding of God’s Providential Will, whether or not it takes the form we think it should, reveals God’s love to us even in the manner in which it’s revealed.