October 25, 2015 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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This is a great reading about the vulnerable being called by God to healing. God’s call in the first reading is to the remnant Israel, those who are scattered, those who have lost their land and home—Immigrant Israel. He will gather these immigrants from the “ends of the earth.” In the Gospel reading, a blind man cries out from the side of the road. It is interesting for when he is calling out, his friends try to shout him down. Then when Christ calls to the Blind Man, they tell him to take courage.

One young lady I’m currently working with in the foster system has similar friends and relatives. They approve when she does what they want and denounce her when she is not meeting their needs. When she seeks opportunities for growth, they become abusive to her; emotionally and physically.

Our true friends don’t hold us back when we’re trying to grow. True friends and true love involves seeking a person’s dignity, regardless of the situation—unconditionally. The people surrounding the blind man are manipulators; they will only support his dignity if he does what they want. Think of this as “performance based approval.” The primary message of manipulative people (and systems) is, “I will give you my approval IF you do what I want…”

People who love you always seek your dignity, no if’s… They seek your dignity, even at times you might not be doing so yourself. This does not mean they treat you nice all the time. Sometimes, people who seek your dignity might have to challenge you to be your best. The key there is they challenge you to be your best, not the best. It may be impossible to be the best and is certainly impossible and unhealthy to want to be the best at all things, but you can and should always do your best.

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