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Today’s Reading: Mark 8:22-30

22 And they came to Beth-saida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.” 29And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.

Today’s Commentary:

A unique miracle performed in stages. It has multiple significance in Mark: Jesus not only healed the man, but he also heals the spiritual deafness and blindness of the disciples (8:18-21). Although they are still uncertain about his true identity, Jesus sharpens their vision to recognize him as Messiah in the following episode (8:29).

— Allegorically (St. Bede, In Marcum): Jesus heals the blind man to announce the mystery of redemption. As God Incarnate, Jesus heals man through the sacrament of his human nature, here signified by his hands and spittle. This grace cures our spiritual blindness gradually, and, as with the blind man, progress is measured in proportion to our faith.

— Allegorically (St. Jerome, Homily 79), the restoration of the blind man signifies our gradual increase in wisdom, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of truth. Christ’s spittle is the perfect doctrine that proceeds from his mouth; it enhances our vision and brings us progressively to the knowledge of God.