Wednesday 15 February 2023 – BEWARE OF FAKE SPIRITUAL FRIENDS

6th Week 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.”

Gospel: Mk 8:22-26  

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.  Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, “Do you see anything?”  Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.

BEWARE OF FAKE SPIRITUAL FRIENDS: Today, Jesus heals a blind man, in public. The healing comes in stages. Why does Jesus take the man away from the crowds for the miracle to be effected? Why is the man healed “twice”? Dear friend, it is our Christian duty to build up our faith, but at the same time, we have to protect that faith from whatever will harm it. THE BLIND MAN WAS PROBABLY TOO EASILY INFLUENCED BY THE DOUBTS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM. Taking the man away from the crowd therefore, helped to initiate the necessary faith for his healing. Surround yourself with people who add value, spiritually, to your life. If you move around with those who doubt the power of Jesus, sooner or later you will be carried away. Jesus took the blind man away so that this man could focus on Jesus and not on the opinions of the crowds. Faith in Jesus is necessary for miracles to occur.

PRAYER: May my faith in you O Lord, never fail. Amen.


“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me” (Jn 10:14): Jesus will never despise a person who requests for his help. His love is profound and he has an insatiable desire to help. In his help today, the curing of the blind man is a gradual process. Jesus may have different reasons for this. First of all, Jesus wanted to free the blind man from the embarrassment of all, focusing on many objects. Secondly, it was a lesson for the disciples, and it is for us today, that in the spiritual field everything is not revealed at once. Our understanding and acceptance of truth and growth in spirituality is necessarily a process. How often do we hear complaints from the recipients of the missionary service, saying that things are being imposed on them? Often, we ignore, the ground reality of the missionaries, their capacity to grasp, adopt and adapt into the new environment.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me never to impose my ideas on others, but rather proclaim your Good News as you did.


WITH HIM IT IS ETERNAL CELEBRATION: Once a master asked his two disciples, “When can you say that it is already day?” “When you can see the trees clearly in the valley in the morning light”, one said. “When it is bright enough and I can tell a wild goat from a cow in my courtyard” said the second. The master said “No!” to the two responses. “It is when you are able to see the stranger in front of you and can count him as your brother, then and only then can you actually claim that the day has dawned for you.” At a time when digital technology has revolutionized learning and e-learning modules made learning a lot easier, truth is not what is guaranteed by technology. More than ever before, we need the Lord to hold each of us by the hand. His blessing and touch is the only one that can open our eyes to the truth. May we always look forward to being educated by God. Let us allow Him to illumine our lives.


FRIENDS ARE GEMS: The healing of the blind man near Bethsaida is the only recorded miracle performed by Jesus where the healing was initially incomplete. This man needed a second touch to experience a full restoration of sight. There is some additional information about the setting of the miracle in the gospel of Mathew (Mt11: 20-22) where Bethsaida and Chorazin are rebuked for their unwillingness to embrace the ministry of Christ. Perhaps, the wickedness that dominated the area appears to be a contributing factor for the miracle taking place outside the city. The gospel says the blind man’s friends brought him to Jesus. In a similar healing of a crippled man who also had friends who tore open a roof and lowered their friend to Jesus, this story describes a small group that was concerned for their friend. Good friends lead us towards God (Ecc. 4:9-10). Jesus described His followers as friends too. Do you have friends who push you closer to Christ?