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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 6th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 8:6-13.20-22): At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch he had made in the ark, and he sent out a raven, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark. He waited seven days more and again sent the dove out from the ark. In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had lessened on the earth. He waited still another seven days and then released the dove once more; and this time it did not come back.

In the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. Noah then removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was drying up. Noah built an altar to the Lord, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. When the Lord smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself: «Never again will I doom the earth because of man since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done. As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease».
Responsorial Psalm: 115
R/. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.

My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, o Jerusalem.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Cf. Eph 1:17-18): Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 8,22-26): When Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, Jesus was asked to touch a blind man who was brought to him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had put spittle on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked, «Can you see any­thing?». The man, who was beginning to see, replied, «I see people! They look like trees, but they move around». Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly. His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly. Then Jesus sent him home saying, «Do not return to the village».

«His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly»

Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, with another miracle, Jesus shows us the process of faith. Curing the blind in two stages tells us that faith is not always an instantaneous light that falls upon us, but rather a certain itinerary that take us to the light and allows us to see clearly. Yet, the first step of faith—to begin seeing God's light— is already a reason for joy. Saint Augustine says: «Once the eyes have been cured, what else can we, o brothers, have more valuable? Let those who can see that light enjoy it, whether it flares in the sky or comes from a torch. And how unhappy should they feel those who cannot see it!».

Arriving to Bethsaida Jesus is asked to touch a blind man who is brought to him. It is significant that Jesus takes him outside the village; is that not an indication that to listen to the word of God, to discover the faith and see the reality of Christ, we have to get out of ourselves, out of the noisy spaces and times that asphyxiate and blind us, to receive the authentic enlightenment?

Once outside the village, Jesus «put spittle on his eyes, laid his hands upon him, and He asked, ‘Can you see anything?’» (Mk 8:23). That gesture reminds us of the Baptism: Jesus does not put any more spittle on our eyes but He completely bathes our being in the water of salvation and, all along our life, He questions us about what we see in the light of faith. «Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly» (Mk 8:25); this second time remind us of the Sacrament of Confirmation, when we are given the plenitude of the Holy Spirit to reach the maturity of faith and see clearer. To be baptized, but neglect the Confirmation, allows us to see, indeed, but only half way.