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SELF-IMPOSED BLINDNESS

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time


My dear encountered couples:

In today’s gospel, Jesus says to the Pharisees: the people of Nineveh heard God in Jonah's preaching and repented. The Queen of Sheba saw God's wisdom in Solomon and traveled all the way to Jerusalem to do him homage. The Pharisees saw the wonder of Jesus' miracles and heard the wisdom of his teaching, and yet failed to recognize God speaking in him.


It's strange, because the Pharisees were intelligent men, learned in the scriptures, religious professionals eagerly awaiting the coming of the Messiah. How was it they misunderstood what God was writing in clear, bold lines, in Jesus?


Well, the Pharisees wanted a Messiah, but the Messiah they wanted was not the type of Messiah Jesus intended to be. They heard Jesus talking about the primacy of service to others, about suffering and turning the other cheek; and they heard him criticizing their approach to religion. This was not the kind of messiah they wanted. So they blinded themselves to what God was writing in clear bold lines in Jesus.


Self-imposed blindness is a very common spiritual affliction. For instance, do we see the sufferings imposed on half of the people in the world? If we don't, then perhaps we are blinding ourselves to reality, not just the material reality in front of us, but also the spiritual reality of God suffering in the poor. Let us not become like the three little monkeys who cover their eyes, cover their ears and seal their lips.


Jesus said that on the Day of Judgment the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba will rise up and condemn his generation. When the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba rise up on the last day, will they condemn our generation as well?

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