“Do not even go into the village.” –Mark 8:26

The village in today’s passage was Bethsaida, a place Jesus elsewhere condemned for its advanced hardened and unrepentant attitude (see Mt 11:21-24). This is the only incident in the Gospels in which Jesus had to heal a person in two stages. Possibly the extreme hardness of the village made it more difficult for a healing to take permanent root.

First, Jesus “led [the blind man] outside the village” (Mk 8:23). Healing often occurs best away from the skeptical crowd, by either getting away from the crowd or putting the crowd out of the healing place (see Mk 6:6; Mt 9:25). Jesus healed the man. However, the blind man’s sight was not clear but cloudy. This may be an indication of the long-term impact of living in a hardened, skeptical culture, much like the present “culture of death.” Then a second time Jesus laid His hands on the blind man’s eyes and “he saw perfectly; his sight was restored, and he could see everything clearly” (Mk 8:25).

Finally, Jesus sent the healed man “home with the admonition, ‘Do not even go into the village’ ” (Mk 8:26). Jesus likely meant by this that the man had been healed fully, physically and spiritually. He was not to return to the hardened culture in the village. He must cultivate his new life in the Lord and never risk losing his restored sight in the spiritual blindness of the village.

“Do you want to be healed?” (Jn 5:6). “Do not even go into the village” (Mk 8:26). Live for the Lord alone.

PRAYER: Father, may my village be centered on attending Mass as often as possible.
PROMISE: ” My vows to the Lord I will pay.” –Ps 116:14
PRAISE: Margaret separated from her drug-abusing “friends” when she returned to the Church.

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