Incremental Healing

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Did you know that Noah was over 600 years old at the time of the Great Flood? We see this in today’s first reading from Genesis 8. After the flood, God promises Noah, “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.” Phew! It’s good to be alive post-Flood, huh? In our Gospel reading from Mark 8, Jesus heals a blind man, but in two parts.

Jesus lays hands on a blind man. The blind man, though, can only make out shapes. So Jesus lays his hands on the man’s eyes a second time. This time his sight is fully restored. Why didn’t the man get healed on the first try? Well, I think there are two things we can draw from this. The first is that Jesus wants to heal us completely, and He will do whatever it takes to make sure that that happens. 

The second thing is more about us. Sometimes we may need incremental healing. Perhaps we are not ready for a complete healing. Much like an alcoholic or drug addict must be weaned off the drug. Now, I don’t know if this was the case for the blind man in today’s Gospel story. But I do know that this is often the case with me. I probably wouldn’t know how to act if the healing came all at once. Perhaps God knows that if it happened that way, I would take Him for granted. Whatever the case may be, God, in His wisdom, knows how and when and how much to heal us.

Father, like the blind man, we beg you to heal us. If we’re not ready for the whole package, then give us that which we can handle. We trust that you’ll finish the job in your time. Amen.

Today's Readings

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