Gospel: Mk 8:22-26
When they came to Bethsaida, Jesus was asked to touch a blind man who was brought to him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had put spittle on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked, “Can you see anything?“ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, “I see people! They look like trees, but they move around.“ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again and the man could see perfectly. His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly.
Then Jesus sent him home, saying, “Do not return to the village.“
Our God of Peace
We are blessed with a Pope who has consistently taught us the fundamental character of our God, namely: Our God is first and foremost a God who forgives, a God who always takes the initiative in restoring order, in giving us Peace! Such is the key message of our first reading today. Noah is given the good news that God would understand human weakness and will henceforth be merciful to man. This reminds us of the first prayer of Jesus on the cross “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.“
The dove of peace with the olive branch, the universal symbol of peace, brings to the broken world of man the good news we are reminded at Christmastime through the song of the cherubim “Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to men of good will!“ Our God is a God of peace who is always ready to extend his hands (even on the cross) so that there could be peace.
We are called today then, to extend our hands and offer peace to our brothers and sisters. It is not always easy to extend the hand of peace to one who has hurt us. But our God has shown us the way. Christ, our peace, invites us to be merciful for we all are in need of God’s mercy. Brothers and sisters, who is the one person you need to give an olive branch to today?