Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, priest
(Isaiah 29:17-24, Matthew 9:27-31)
In explaining why random evolution cannot account for the complexity of life, intelligent design advocates often reflect on the eye. They say that such an intricate organ is not likely to come about by chance, no matter if it had a zillion years to develop. Of course, seeing is not only wonderful, it is imminently useful. For this reason the blind men in today’s gospel seek Jesus’ mercy.
The two men lack physical sight, but they possess another, even more critical, way of seeing. They believe that Jesus is the son of David who will establish God’s definitive rule throughout the world. As Isaiah foretold, he is the one who will open the ears of the deaf, give sight to the blind, and bring release to prisoners. Jesus rewards their faith with a new kind of twenty-twenty vision: they can now see as well with their eyes as they have all along with their souls.
Today the Church remembers St. Francis Xavier, the tireless Jesuit missionary who preached faith in Jesus to thousands of people in Asia. Francis realized that God’s rule would not come about by wielding swords but by sacrificing self in charity.