November 19, 2018
I heard the Lord saying to me: “To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this: . . . Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Rv_1:1-4;2:1-5
The blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Lk_18:35-43
How many of you remember those searchlights they used to use to advertise the opening of a new business or some spectacular sale? Most recently, well, within the last 20-years or so, we’ve seen them here in Columbia at car dealers. They would shine a bright streak of light into the night sky, in a circle that could be seen for miles. And by following that streak from the sky to the ground, you’d be able to find its source.
Well, when I was a kid of maybe 12 or 13-years old, I went on a mission with a younger cousin, within the metropolis of northern New Jersey, to find the source of one of those searchlights. We walked those dark, city streets for about a mile and a half, to excitedly discover a brand-new hotdog joint; only to be sadly disappointed when we were told that we had to be 18-years old in order to get one of their free hotdogs.
It was the beginning of a whole new era in my life, an era of distrust and disillusionment. No longer was I ever excited to follow a searchlight, because I realized that, in the end, they were all just a scam.
And isn’t that the story of life. Failure after failure, lie after lie, we find ourselves, without even realizing it, hardened from the zeal, the excitement of our youth. And just like that Church of Ephesus, we trudge-on in our staunch belief, we say our rosaries, we come to Mass, we endure the trials and persecutions of each day, but maybe, somewhere in the process, we too have lost our zeal, we’ve lost our once, unquenchable Love for God and for our neighbor. And in the doing, we find that our true belief, our faith itself, just may be wavering!
Today, Jesus reminds us, along with those Ephesians, that “Cold Love” is just not acceptable if we’re still wanting a place in His Kingdom. You see, our fires need to be constantly re-kindled, because there is a big world out there that wants nothing more than to see them quenched.
“Don’t trust the stranger.”
“Don’t answer the phone.”
“Don’t trust your priests.”
“Sue your parents and teachers for teaching you discipline.”
“Teach your students how everything imaginable is acceptable, no matter how immoral it may be.”
And even when we try igniting hope, there’s always someone out there in front of us saying “Be Quiet, Be Quiet! Can’t you see, it’s the Lord”
It didn’t phase the zeal of that blind man in today’s Gospel. And when he DID receive his sight, it was like that billion candlepower searchlight shining on all of those nay-sayers.
And then there was CONVERSION!
The Gospel tells us, “All the people gave praise to God!”
And, you know what? Without that zealous, enduring, persevering blind man, it never would have happened.
Well, isn’t it funny, brothers and sisters, how – here I am, 53-years later, trying to reignite those searchlights that I had given up on so many years ago!
And, you know what?
They’re not at some street corner, hotdog stand.
And they’re not at some overpriced car dealer.
Those spotlights are right there in our own hearts. You see, we already have that love of Jesus right there within us. All we need do now, beloved, holy ones, is to break out of this prison of our world, and let those lights shine!
Jesus is counting on us, and He’s just waiting to share those same words: “Your faith has saved, not only you, but all of those people who you brought to my light!”
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