The Blind Friends
The movie Butterflies Are Free, is a very inspiring one. It concerns a young man, Don, who is blind. Because of his disability, his mother is over-protective of him. As he grows up, Don realizes he is becoming too dependent on her, so he makes a painful though courageous decision. He leaves the comfort of his home, takes up a simple one-room apartment, and begins a new life as a song-writer and singer.
Next-door to Don lives a charming young lady named Jill. They befriend each other. Eventually Don learns that Jill is a very disturbed person. She had been left in the lurch by a lover, and she just cannot get over the feelings of rejection and hurt. Nevertheless, she is so kind and helpful to Don that he falls in love with her. One day Don plucks up the courage to ask Jill if she would marry him. Jill, however, refuses. She assures him that she truly loves him and wants to marry him, but her fear of getting hurt again or even facing rejection is too great for her to make a decision.
There follows a crucial scene in which Don confesses to Jill how her love and concern for him has healed him of a blindness that went deeper than his physical blindness. He had been pitying himself all along. But through his relationship with her he had come to accept himself and his physical handicap. He had realized that he is a person worthy of being loved and capable of loving. He had begun to see things as beautiful – both within him and outside him.
In contrast to his own experience, Don explains to Jill how ‘blind’ she had actually become, ever since the ‘tragedy’ in her life, and how she failed to ‘see’ her own goodness and beauty. More, she was blind to the goodness and beauty of the people around her. Jill is touched by Don’s insight. She finally accepts the truth and responds to his love.
– What thoughts, feelings, occurred to you while you went through the story?
– What do you think is the ‘moral’ of the story?
– taken from “Persons Are Gifts”, by Hedwig Lewis, SJ
On this mountain, for all peoples,
Yahweh Sabaoth is preparing
a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines,
of succulent food, of well-strained wines.
On this mountain, he has destroyed
the veil which used to veil all peoples,
the pall enveloping all nations;
he has destroyed death for ever.
Lord Yahweh has wiped away the tears from every cheek;
he has taken his people’s shame away everywhere on earth,
for Yahweh has spoken.
And on that day, it will be said,
‘Look, this is our God,
in him we put our hope that he should save us,
this is Yahweh, we put our hope in him.
Let us exult and rejoice since he has saved us.’
For Yahweh’s hand will rest on this mountain.
Jesus went on from there and reached the shores of the Lake of Galilee, and he went up onto the mountain. He took his seat, and large crowds came to him bringing the lame, the crippled, the blind, the dumb and many others; these they put down at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds where astonished to see the dumb speaking, the cripples whole again, the lame walking and the blind with their sight, and they praised the God of Israel.
But Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them off hungry, or they might collapse on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where in a deserted place could we get sufficient bread for such a large crowd to have enough to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks he broke them and began handing them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full.
When I read about the banquet in the prophecy in Isaiah, I imagined a table laden with a lot of different food.
However, the feast in the Gospel reading only consisted of bread and fish. What made it resemble a banquet was the vast number of people. To the stomach which has the privilege of choice of good food, this is very simple and can hardly be considered a feast! Yet within the meal was not mere food. It was a miracle. The means by which so many people could be fed was divine. Any chef can cook a meal but it is God who can provide it.
At the Last Supper, there was a banquet that we still celebrate today. The Eucharist. This time, there is only bread and wine. But simple bread and wine later becomes the most precious food that we can have – the body and blood of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, it all tastes and looks like bread and wine, but again, God has transformed it.
Are we able to recognise that we are truly in a banquet at Mass? Are we able to appreciate and give thanks for God’s blessings, especially when they appear in the simplest of forms?
Are you happy when people appreciate what you’ve done for them, or when you compliment them? God is delighted when you are able to rejoice and give thanks for what He has prepared for you. Perhaps it is not a scrumptious a banquet as you might imagine. But when you sit down and reflect about what you have experienced, you might just be able to savour what He has provided.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Regina Xie)
Give thanks to the Lord for: blessing us wonderfully and abundantly.
Prayer: Father, guide us to be able to taste the banquet You prepare for us.
Thu, 29 Nov – Daniel 6:12-28; Luke 21:20-28
Fri, 30 Nov – Romans 10:9-18; Matthew 4:18-22; Feast of St. Andrew, apostle
Sat, 01 Dec – Daniel 7:15-27; Luke 21:34-36
Sun, 02 Dec – Isaiah 2:1-5; Romans 13:11-14a; Matthew 24:37-44; First Sunday of Advent
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