Advent 2022

Friday of the First Week of Advent: The Power to Open Our Eyes

First Friday 1Upon reading today’s Gospel, I was immediately reminded of an article I came across many years ago. It was a summary of a presentation at an elite swim coaching clinic. The writer pondered the factors that brought swimmers to the starting blocks at the Olympics. While they had all achieved world-class performance, not every athlete took the same approach to get there. They came from different backgrounds, had different resources and had different experiences along the way. What, then, enabled such high-level achievement? The writer concluded that it’s not the coach or the training program that mattered most, it is the athlete’s belief in their coach and training program.

It is belief that unlocks commitment, helps stave off doubt and provides the motivation to work every day towards a goal some might consider unattainable.

Today, Matthew tells of two blind men who were healed by Jesus, but not before answering a very direct question. Jesus asked them: Do you believe I can do this?

Yes, Lord, they replied, and “their eyes were opened.”

Of course, this is not the only healing miracle of Jesus. We know he not only gave sight to the blind, but made the lame walk and even raised the dead. In each instance, there was a similar exchange, a proving, if you will, of the faith and belief of the other person. Jesus is the source, but it is the person’s belief in Jesus that unlocks the miracle.

What might we achieve, what miracles await us if we believe, like the blind men, in Jesus’s power to open our eyes?

Joe Connolly

Joe Connolly

Joe Connolly is the Executive Director at Saint Thomas More Chapel & Center at Yale.