The WORD in Other Words by Fr Chito Lorenzo SVD (Japan) for Monday Week 33 in Ordinary Time
Sometimes people come to me and say: “Father, I need your help,” and the thought that usually comes to my mind is that the person is in need of financial help and will likely ask for some contribution. Some, however, ask for prayers that God might help them; others ask for advice.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks the blind man. If I had the gift of healing and a blind person comes to me, I would immediately assume that he is there to be healed of his blindness. “I know what you need”— maybe a lot of us are guilty of presuming to know what others need in their lives without knowing the person‘s full story. Jesus gives us an example of respect for the other, to allow the person in need the chance to tell him what he wants, to give that person the freedom to be responsible for his own life.
This is a valuable lesson for us. Though we may have power and influence over the poor and the needy, we should not trample on their dignity as persons. We do not impose our assistance on others; rather, we offer it humbly and lovingly. “Is there anything I can do for you?” “I have extra food with me. Would you like some for yourself and your family?” When we give people a choice, we give them the respect they deserve.
Sometimes, we are the blind who do not see what the other really needs. Let us pray to the Lord that we might truly see the beauty and dignity of the people around us who need our love and assistance.