Learning to pray means not giving in to the darkness we encounter in life, but rather taking advantage of those very circumstances to go deeper in our relationship with Christ, to the point where we can profess our faith right there in the darkness ...
Just one verse each day.
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.
Today’s Gospel sets before us a real school of prayer. The scene is simple: Jesus is walking away but is literally pursued by two blind men who are asking for healing: “Two blind men followed him, crying out, ‘Son of David, have pity on us!’” The shouting isn’t an act of rudeness but rather a sign of utter despair. True prayer is always a cry. It’s not comfortable prayer; it’s prayer that comes from the depths of our despair.
Being blind means living in the dark, not seeing. So many times in life we feel like we’re in the dark! We don’t see any direction; we don’t know where to go. The best thing we can do is pray, not give in to that darkness, and cry out to the Lord, as we very often read in the Psalms.
Jesus, however, waits until he enters the house to address them: “When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I can do this?’” The house symbolizes intimacy, a personal face-to-face relationship. Prayer must become intimacy, must be able to mature in a face-to-face relationship with Jesus. Only then can He really ask us if we believe in Him: “‘Yes, Lord,’ they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘Let it be done for you according to your faith.’ And their eyes were opened.”
God doesn’t act by magic, but by faith. And faith is expressed only in a personal relationship with Jesus. Learning to pray means not giving in to the darkness we encounter in life, but rather taking advantage of those very circumstances to go deeper in our relationship with Christ, to the point where we can profess our faith right there in the darkness, and thus see the miracle of recovering our sight: that is, seeing life itself in a new way.
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.