Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: Ability to see the eyes of faith
By: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya
Our readings today highlight the plea of the people of God. The first reading from the prophet Jeremiah, tells us clearly how the Lord God is our father and loves and cares for us. Our loving father only requires of us that we follow Him. As simple as this is, we often do not turn to Him in our problems, the challenges of our life and the difficulties that face us.
The Gospel reading today is about the cure of a blind man. But the story has far deeper implications than just a person receiving his sight back. This story contains a great challenge to all of us, because it is about the ability to see with the eyes of faith! It is about seeing as God sees. It is about the different levels of seeing with the eyes of faith and the various stages of growth in faith.
There would always be two categories of people in our life. The first being those who would positively influence our relationship with Jesus and the second are those who would distract us from a life changing encounter with Jesus.
Apart from the crowd, what else is preventing us from coming to Jesus? Could it be our cloak? Considering other references in the Bible, the cloak here could have at least two meanings. It could simply refer to an exterior tunic that was his outer garment (Is. 59:17; Job 1:20; Mt. 5:40), or it could mean a large square piece of fabric (Lk. 6:29; 2 Tim. 4:13) that the blind man spreads before him to collect some coins from generous passers-by. In any case, throwing off his cloak is an act of renunciation (that the rich young man was unable to do in the earlier part of this Gospel, as read a couple of Sundays ago).
This blind man has no need of his cloak anymore. He goes to Jesus in symbolic nakedness and emptiness. He does not need his coins anymore, because he is going to be healed. He does not need any material security anymore, because he has Jesus now. So in what cloak are we clothed that we find difficult to let go? What is that cloak holding us down and preventing us from a life changing encounter with Jesus?
In the beginning he was blind, he was in darkness. In the end he is in the light, not just of his physical sight but because a deeper insight opens him up to Jesus who is the Light of the world.
Even though Jesus urged the man to go his way, but because of the encounter this man has now had with Christ, his eyes of faith have come to know Christ as the way, the truth and the life. So he could not go his way but the way of Jesus.
We are called to be instrumental in facilitating people to come to Jesus, Just as he facilitates our coming to God the Father. The letter to the Hebrew, our second reading of today makes this clear to us by pointing out to us that Jesus is truly human and can hear us. Jesus is a priest and is willing to intercede for us always.
*Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya*