Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 1:1-4.2:1-5; Luke 18:35-43)
Crowds are notoriously fickle. One moment they can strongly support a person or team. The next, because of a mistake or misfortune, they may turn against the same. Theorists have proposed that in crowds individuals lose their sense of responsibility. They allow the prevailing mood of the group to control their thinking. This is especially apparent in Luke’s gospel.
In today’s passage the crowd rebukes the blind beggar for asking help from Jesus. They are certainly insensitive if not mean to the poor man. When Jesus is being tried by Pilate, the crowds act with similar hostility. Three times they call for his crucifixion, more than in any other gospel. But in both cases the crowds change their dispositions. In today’s passage it is said that they “gave praise to God.” After the crucifixion, the crowds return from Calvary “beating their breasts.” In both instances the cause of the change is the experience of Jesus as the compassion of God. He gives sight to the blind man. On the cross he not only prays for his persecutors but promises a repentant thief a place in Paradise.
We too have experienced Jesus as the compassion of God. He forgives our callowness, lustfulness, and viciousness in the sacrament of reconciliation. He gives himself as food in the Eucharist so that we might conduct lives worthy of an eternal destiny. He has told each of us of his love for us in prayer. We too can only give praise to God for our encounter with Jesus.