Stumbling But Pondering (Mark 8:22-26)

“ I stumbled when I saw”  …     (Gloucester in ‘King Lear’)
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Shakespeare continues to provide evocative openers and insights into the human condition. Jesus, before him used words and actions that still stand as beacons in human history.

Jesus performs the miracle on the blind man – in stages. First he puts spittle on the man’s eyes and asks if he can see anything. The man replies that he did not see very clearly. What he saw was a distortion of reality. His cure is not complete; he sees images through the yeast of Herod and the Pharisees. A fake image built upon generations of distortions and oppressive manipulations of history, myths and traditions. The people of the time had a fixed view of who and what the Christ would represent in the eyes of the Select. Truth had been revealed as to children ( St Paul would call it ) in the words and manner understandable to children. To be righteous, one had to accept the word as children. Leaving the shelters of Eden, the ancestors moved by steps, following their curiosity. But, the Lord did not abandon them. He continued to reveal himself, made covenants, and encouraged organic development; extending freedom that comes with greater awareness. At the start, there may have been punishing storms, fire and brimstone; counter balanced in rich tangible rewards. The rules of reward and punishment, were continually reinforced with storys of kings and queens; much as Santa Claus and the Boogieman capture the imagination of modern children.

Jesus completes the cure by touching the man again. Now he sees clearly. It is as though a veil had been lifted, and he sees the bridegroom before him in his glory. The invitation is to deny the yeast of this world, for a kingdom of God that has its own sets of values and discernments. What is offered is more than righteousness based on the fear of eternal punishment. It is a fair barter of life with him, for life without Him. The eternal graces are extended right away, and there is hope; based not on our own merits, but on the will of a merciful, compassionate and loving Father. It is a mature choice set before us; we may accept or reject the kingdom of God. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Sight is restored for us to see, to accept and do His Holy Will.

Acknowledgement: Carmelite Lectio Divina ( www.ocarm.org), Mark 8:22-26.