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A Church that proclaims vs. a Church that prevents

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Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/14/22

The Church should announce to those who still lack light that Jesus is passing by.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

The blind man in today’s Gospel is a great example of a path that leads us step by step to the Lord. First of all, the starting point is the condition of blindness that arises from a lack of an encounter with Christ; that is, the lack of an encounter with a meaning that fills life with significance. Until we encounter something that makes our life meaningful, it’s as if we were living in the dark. 

This fact is well known to those who at some point have encountered a love or a passion that has reawakened life itself in them; that encounter fills their life with a light that wasn’t there before. But Christ comes through the mediation of others:

“Hearing a crowd going by, (the blind man) inquired what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’”

This is what the Church should do. It should announce to those who still lack light that Jesus is passing by. It’s at that point that the desire to pray is awakened in the blind man, and his prayer is authentic because it’s a cry that springs from his heart, “He shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!’” 

That same crowd (the Church) that had announced Christ to him then began to rebuke him:

“The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, ‘Son of David, have pity on me!’”

The temptation to transform ourselves from a Church that proclaims to a Church that prevents an encounter with the Lord is always present. But Jesus is stronger than the crowd that enjoins him to be silent, and he calls the man to himself. Here then, the encounter that had begun through the mediation of others became a personal encounter. 

We all need to enter into a personal relationship with Christ:

“When he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He replied, ‘Lord, please let me see.’ Jesus told him, ‘Have sight; your faith has saved you.’”

Here then, everything is fulfilled, and darkness gives way to light.

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Tags:
DiscipleshipGospelLiturgyMassPrayerSpiritual Life
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