The Gospel story of Jesus healing the blind man (from yesterday's readings) is always moving on many levels, but I found it especially poignant and on point in light of the recent threads on baptism (a sacrament of which this miracle story is a symbol):
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.His disciples asked him,Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,that he was born blind?Jesus answered,Neither he nor his parents sinned;it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.Night is coming when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.When he had said this, he spat on the groundand made clay with the saliva,and smeared the clay on his eyes,and said to him,Go wash in the Pool of Siloam which means Sent.So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
Among other things,Jesus neatly usesmud to turn aside what we might call mud-slinging. But both Jesus and the blind man are chased off by the Pharisees, Jesus because he healed on the Sabbath in contravention of the Law, and the blind man because he was still considered marked by sin.In his remarks on the passage at the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict had this apt observation:
To the blind man whom he healed Jesus reveals that he has come into the world for judgment, to separate the blind who can be healed from those who do not allow themselves to be healed because they presume that they are healthy. The tendency in man to construct an ideological system of security is strong: Even religion itself can become an element in this system, as can atheism, or secularism; but in constructing this system, one becomes blind to his own egoism.