Master, I want to see

An old American idiom states that “Seeing is believing” and perhaps no better example of this occurred fifty-two years ago on October 26, 1960, during the first televised presidential debate. Most (88%) of households at that time had one television yet many listened to the debate over radio and did not watch it. Following the debate, those who listened to it on the radio thought that Richard Nixon had clearly and decisively won. Those who watched the debate on television thought Nixon appeared sickly and sweaty while John F. Kennedy appeared calm and confident. The debate and ultimately the election went to Kennedy.

There is an ancient story that tells of six men, taken into a dark room, who are asked to touch an elephant, something that they have never seen before, and determine what it is like. Each touches one part, a leg, a tusk, the trunk, an ear, a side, and the tail, and each comes to a completely different conclusion, partially correct but substantively incorrect. Each man has the gift of sight but does not see what is placed in front of him.

Note that when Bartimaeus, a blind man, is asked by Jesus “What do you want me to do for you?” he does not ask to be given sight but rather replies “Master, I want to see.” He wished to see, to understand, to know that which was not seen by either the sighted or the blind. It wasn’t until the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost that the eyes of the closest disciples of Jesus were opened and they were able to see what Bartimaeus asked of Jesus.

In responding to Jesus’ call, Bartimaeus immediately threw his cloak aside and went to Jesus. He was so confident in the saving power of Jesus that while still blind and in the dark, he left all that he owned, without hesitation or concern for finding it again. His faith saved him and allowed him to see.

We are all blind, unable to see, to understand, to know God. We can only grasp an infinitesimally small glimpse of the glory that is our Creator and from that we try to see who He is, to describe Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh (I am that I am.)

To see God requires faith and faith is dark knowledge. We must walk in darkness in order to see the light. Like Bartimaeus, in order to see we must walk through the darkness of our lives with confidence and complete trust in Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We must want to see.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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