7th SUNDAY OF MATTHEW, Matthew 9: 27-35
In today’s Gospel reading about the two blind men (Mat.9, 27-35) the path towards faith is depicted: we are shown how from a state of blindness one can be transformed to a state of seeing, how one can receive what one asks. Sin makes man blind, for the devil does not wish man to see God – his Creator. Spiritual blindness might be acknowledged only by admitting ones sinfulness. Furthermore, it is essential to follow Christ – that is to fulfill His commandments, God’s will, and patiently carry one’s cross. Also, one must “Shout” – in other words, pray strongly with zeal. When our prayer is not answered right away, Christ is testing our faith.
When Christ entered a house, the blind followed Him. Misfortune has brought the blind together, and they became friends – they functioned as one. We must be in one place with Christ. Where Christ is, there is God’s temple. The blind approach Christ in the house. The objective of following Christ – is to catch up with Him and be joined with Him. Jesus asks them: “Do you believe, that I can do this and have mercy on you?” The blind answer: “Yes, Lord!” They acknowledge Jesus as Lord and God, because only God can give them that which they do not have: in this case – eyesight! Being physically blind, they had already matured spiritually; with eyes of faith they saw in Jesus Almighty God, their Creator. Christ touched their eyes and said: “You shall receive according to your faith”. When their eyes opened, Christ strictly told them: “Tell no one; do not extol that God helped you!” We ought not to pride ourselves that we were in the temple and communed of the Holy Gifts. It is, probably, on account of this forbidding of Christ that Christian preachers seldom talk about this wonderful healing in their sermons.
We do not know the names of these two blind men, who were blind from their birth and whom Christ healed. But, we do know from the book of ‘Acts of the Apostles’ and from our history about two other blind men, who also were healed by our Lord. Christ miraculously healed the temporary blindness of the persecutor of the first Christians, ‘Saul’ (later Apostle Paul), and the blindness of Prince Vladimir of Kiev. They were granted sight only as a result of a miracle through their encounter with Christ and their acceptance of Baptism. Christ opened the eyes of their souls and also removed their physical blindness. In the year 998 Prince Vladimir was baptized and given the name of ‘Vasili’ (Basil). According to legend, Prince Vladimir had been blind for a while before being baptized, and as he was emerging from the baptismal font, he regained sight and proclaimed: “Now I know the true God!” Through these healing from blindness of Saul, the persecutor, and Prince Vladimir of Kiev, God shows all those, who are blind, that they should also accept this medicine with joy.
The best example of effectiveness and power of any medicine, is the healing of the sick. God shows us the power of faith. Of all the miracles, which happen because of faith in Christ, the most beneficial to the soul is the transfiguration of a sinner into a righteous person. As a confirmation of such a miracle of man’s transfiguration we have Saint Vladimir, who says to each one of us: “I was like night changed into day”. He asks us: “Who were you before being baptized? Whom did you become after being baptized? How do you view the spiritual world? Do you see Christ with you?”
Let us think on what answers we can give to these questions. Amen.