January 30, 2022
In this country people with 20/20 vision are considered to have normal vision. 20/20 vision means that a person can read a certain row of letters on a standard eye chart from 20 feet away. In terms of eyesight alone, someone with 20/20 vision can perform most or all of the basic tasks and duties required in daily life.
About 1 in 3 American adults have 20/20 vision without prescription glasses, contact lenses or any other form of vision correction. Most young people with healthy eyes have 20/15 vision, or even slightly better. A few people have 20/10 vision, and birds of prey are some of the only animals thought to have 20/5 vision. And people with 20/200 vision or lower are considered legally blind. Those with 20/200 eyesight can only read the single large letter at the top of a Snellen chart. How good is your vision?
Our eyesight is amazing! What a tremendous gift to mankind! If you have ever injured an eye, you know how painful it can be. As a young boy I caught a glimpse of the bright light achieved from welding metal and the radiation damaged one of my eyes, or so as the doctor said as he discovered a scar on one retina. I believe that discovery was found when an eye physician removed steel shavings from my eye that jumped on my eye as I was drilling a hole in a steel door jamb many years ago, which was an experience I would not like to repeat! But things are mostly normal now with my eyes functionality.
Those of us with good vision probably take for granted this luxury of sight and most of us can see living color in detail if we continue to eat our carrots and get our rest and PLN’s. Some folks can see well but not be able to see the many colors of creation. And then there some folks that struggle or have no use of all of their eyes.
Back in the day, blindness and diseases of the eye were a common illness in the ancient world. And that leads us to our story of the blind beggar we heard about in the Gospel of Luke this morning.(Luke 18:35-43) This blind man, known to the church as Bartimaeus sensed that Christ was near and he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”[Lk. 18:38] We have heard many stories that if one of our five senses is weak, the other four senses increase or work above normal to help compensate for that loss and this man sensed Christ’s presence.
Some people are intimidated and subdued by their own handicaps. It's possible to almost give up at times, but not our Blind man. The blind man’s request for mercy uses the same words that other beggars use, but this beggar's address to Jesus is startling. He asks the "Son of David" for mercy, he is expecting far more than a handout. And he has faith that the Son of David, the Messiah, will grant his request. Faith is what motivates his disorderly cry for healing! He believes the Nazarene coming his way is indeed the Consecrated One!
In other places in the Gospel Jesus draws a parallel with our eyesight and our spiritual blindness or starving the eye of our heart. In John 9:41 our Lord replies: “If you were blind you would have no sin; but now you say ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” There are many other references to blindness throughout the scriptures including the rebuking of the Pharisees in Matt 23:24, He describes theses leaders as: “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” As our eyesight begins to decrease, we realize these shortcomings but as our spiritual eyes become slowly darkened, we rarely notice. Just watch over the years as good Christians begin to fall away from the church and its teachings. They can’t see well enough to find their way to church or even blow the dust off from the bibles. Their spiritual vision has been hacked and slowly being blinded by the prince of darkness. They suffer from Spiritual Glaucoma!
How is your vision? We are all in need of healing, how loud then is your cry for help? Lord Jesus Christ, Have Mercy On Me a Sinner! This prayer will improve your vision as you overcome this deadly handicap, and please eat your carrots by coming to church and nurturing yourself here in the life subsistence of the Almighty Physician. Don’t just sit there and moan and complain about your circumstances, you still have time, get busy! Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy On Me a Sinner!
Fr. Gabriel Weller 1-30-2022
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