“Though His Eyes Were Open...”

Fr. Francis Scaria

Smiley face Those of you who are familiar with the Acts of the Apostles would immediately make out that I am quoting from the narrative of the event of St. Paul’s conversion, when Saul met the Lord on the way to Damascus. When Saul got up from the ground, although his eyes were open, he could not see anything (cf. Acts 9:8-9). This is symbolic of the human condition. It is God who gives sight. In the Gospel we come across the incident where regarding a blind man, the disciples asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" In answer Jesus said, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him.” (Jn 9:1-3)

In our society, we come across people who seem to have good ears, but cannot hear, those who have good tongues, but cannot speak and those who look healthy and strong but cannot walk. All these situations remind us that God is in control and in every situation His glory is being revealed.

For Paul, the experience of blindness was short. But he would never forget the lesson he learned. This incident tells us another truth too. It is not enough to have good looking eyes and having them open, but they need to have God-given sight. The condition of Saul was very strange. He seemed to be very robust and energetic. He seemed to be in control of everything. The opening verse of Acts 9 contains the phrase indicating that he was “breathing threats and murder” – apparently strong and impressive. The eyes open but ‘without sight’ are indicative of his inner emptiness. The word then addressed to Saul may be addressed to you and me today. We too may have good-looking eyes which are wide open, but without sight, ears without hearing and tongues without voice. It all indicates the same truth – absence of God. At the realisation that he had open eyes without sight, Saul responded to God in a positive manner. We are told in verse 9 that he fasted and prayed for three days. The Lord not only gave him sight, but enabled him to proclaim the truth of this experience to everyone.

Besides, having seemingly good eyes and having them open, one is not perceived to be blind. Naturally others would not perceive the need of such a person to be helped or assisted. Only when such a person humbles himself and acknowledges his own blindness before others that others can be of help to him.

MUSINGS : 1-25, 26-50, 51-75

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