“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Soon after the dramatic and very public healings of the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter, Jesus is accosted by two hopeful blind men. They follow him with loud desperate cries, so much so that the ever-practical disciples are ready to chase them away for being disruptive. However, although they are loud and physically blind, they see clearly Jesus’ true identity. In calling Him “Son of David” they acknowledge Him as Messiah, and they reveal that they have better spiritual sight and discernment than the disciples who are trying to hush them up. The Messiah was reputed to bring healing in his “wings” (the fringes of his shawl). Isn’t that how He just healed the woman with the issue of blood?
As they follow Him indoors Jesus asks: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Though their need is obvious, Jesus wants to hear from them just what is wrong and how they believe He can help.
The same applies for us. The Lord knows what we need, yet often He wants us to articulate our need and declare our dependence on Him. It is in presenting ourselves to Him in prayer that we gain a better understanding of who He is and who we are. It is in presenting our needs on behalf of ourselves and others that we grow in confidence and trust. He often requires us to dig deeper beyond the surface of tentative, conditional, lukewarm belief. He wants us to “graduate” beyond the creed of our childhood to the active, expectant faith of one alive and on fire with love of the Master. Have we established a track record with Jesus? Have we seen Him act in power and signs and wonders? If we don’t ask we will never find out.
Lord, what would you have us do? How should we believe in you? Do we really believe that you are able to do this? This kind of love demands total trust and total surrender to the Lover of our souls. Are you ready to trust Him with everything? Even the people and issues who you hold so tightly? Are you ready for His plan for your life, not yours? Are you ready to give Him everything, including your state in life, your spouse, your children, your family, your vocation, your career, your ministry? Are they yours or His? Do we really believe that He is able to do this? The lesson learned from the two blind men is total surrender and total trust. Nothing else is enough.
Lavinia Spirito is a teaching leader for nationally distributed Catholic Way Bible Study, cwbs.org. She writes, speaks and leads conferences and retreats, as well as retreats for priests and deacon formation. Lavinia also leads groups in pilgrimage to Italy, Israel and other interesting and inspiring places and lives in Lexington Kentucky with her husband and they have 2 adult daughters.