Whenever I give a seminar for parents and godparents before the conferment of the sacrament of baptism in our parish, I would start the talk with an explanation of what a sacrament is. The sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible grace that is actually received. I would always emphasize that it is not an invention of our Catholic faith, but God Himself is the author and initiator of these sacraments, which also signify symbols and signs. I would also tell them that God has given Jesus, His begotten Son, to be the presence of God among His people.
I remembered the seminars that I had given since in today’s Gospel, we see Jesus touching and healing the blind man. I realized that even if Jesus could actually heal the person just by His word, most of the time, He would touch the sick because He knew that this gesture impacts the healing experience. God knows that understanding the many things around is facilitated by the use of our senses. Through the senses, a spiritual experience can be a complete and extraordinary experience of faith. It is not therefore surprising that we have all these sacraments and symbols in our rituals and worship.
Through the incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus, God is seen, touched and heard. Through the Eucharist, God allows himself to be partaken and received physically in Holy Communion. We marvel at these mysteries of our faith!
May we love God even more for preparing all these gifts ahead for us.
By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
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.”