In today’s Gospel two blind men cry out to Jesus; they want to be healed: “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Their cry for healing has long been a part of our liturgy. At the beginning of the Eucharist, we cry out: “Lord have mercy (Kyrie eleson), Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” While some think that the phrase “Kyrie eleson” is Latin it is Greek taken from the Gospels.
The two men in today’s Gospel ask Jesus to heal them of their blindness. Jesus touches them and replies: “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” Jesus shows his great mercy and compassion in both his words and in his actions. During this season of Advent, we look forward to the Second Coming (adventus) of Jesus while we remember and celebrate Jesus’ First Coming (adventus) into our world and into our life. Jesus’ First Coming shows us that the one true God is a God of mercy and compassion. St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians reflects on this mercy: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” … (Ephesians 2:4-5). The faith that the two blind men show in today’s Gospel is a simple and profound trust in Jesus.
You and I are invited during this season of Advent to encounter Jesus each day and to deepen our trust or faith in God. In our encounter we cry out to Jesus to be healed of our blindness. Out of blindness may be that we are unable to see and accept a God of compassion and mercy. Rather our image of God is that of a harsh tyrant always looking to “get us” and punish us. Jesus wants us to see the one true God, the God who is “rich in mercy.” Jesus wants to heal us. So we come to Jesus today with our needs and petitions and we ask Jesus to heal us: “Kyrie, eleson, Lord, have mercy.”
Image: “Christ Healing the Blind” by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) is marked with CC0 1.0.