THAT I MAY SEE: A HOMILY ON MONDAY, 33RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR II
A medical doctor once discovered a pill which could help someone become 20 years younger. He decides he doesnt need it, so he sent some to his parent telling them that they should take one each for now. After some months he returns back home and he had forgotten about the pills. When he drew close to the house, he saw a young lady carrying a baby on her back. The young lady called to him and he was surprised since he doesnt know who the young lady was. The young lady then said “Dont you recognise your own mother?” Then his mother reminded him of the pills, saying she took one of the pills and here is she 20 years younger. He was very happy to see how beautiful his mother looked. Then he noticed the baby at the back and asked what the baby’s name was. His mother said “That is your father. He noticed how I looked after I took the pill and he was getting very jealous. So, in his greed, he decided to take 3 of the pills.
Nothing is constant. If anything is constant, then it is the fact that nothing is constant. This is why we are told that only thing that is constant is change. If you build a house and nobody lives in it, by the time you return to it, you will discover it is no longer the same. When you live with a child, you will not notice the child is growing, but if you dont see the child for a while, when you see the child again, the level of growth will be obvious.
In our spiritual journey, in our relationship with one another, nothing remains the same. It is either changing for the better or for the worse. There are times when we think of our relationship with God and we imagine that it is remaining the same. If you think it has remained the same, most of the time, it is changing for the worse. The only way to prevent it from changing for the worse is by constantly trying to make it better. If we dont, then after a long time, we will look back and discover that nothing is the same. St. John alerts us in the first reading that our condition has become worse than what it was from the beginning.
On the day of our baptism we are washed clean, but as time goes on, we get dirty and if we are able to notice, then we go for confession and we are restored again. This is why constant confession is non-negotiable in the christian life. One thing I have discovered as a priest is that those who go for confession regularly are usually aware of their sins, but those who have not been to confession for a long time would always say they cant think of any sin they have committed. This is very ironical. It does not mean that they have not sinned but it works like someone who is in a dark room. If you are in a room and suddenly the light goes out, initially the darkness will be very deep. But as time goes on it starts feeling brighter and brighter and before you know it, it doesnt feel so dark anymore. It is also like dirt. When you get dirty for the first time, it feels terrible. If you get more and more dirty, then you will gradually forget that you are dirty and the dirt feels normal. When people start sinning, it feels terrible and they cant bear the guilt, but the more they persist in the sin, the more it doesnt feel so bad anymore and before you know it the sense of sin is completely lost. The devil tells them they are doing well, and things are not so bad.
That is why someone will come to confession and say “Father, it is 3 years since my last confession. However, I have not really done anything seriously sinful.” Then I wish to shake their hands and congratulate them for being so holy. This is a kind of spiritual blindness. The longer we stay with sin, the more it no longer feels like sin, and we loose the sense of sin. The blind man in our gospel today reminds us of our own blindness, which manifests itself in the loss of the sense of sin. One way to regain this loss is by daily examination of conscience, especially at the end of every day. The examination of conscience is like saying to Jesus, “Lord, that I may see”.