ORDINARY TIME, Week 6: Wednesday

“... Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”” (Mark 8:26.)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verses from today’s Gospel Proclamation:

“They came, then, to Bethsaida, into the village of Andrew and Peter, James and John. Bethsaida means “house of fishers,” and, in truth, from this house, hunters and fishermen are sent into the whole world. Ponder the text. The historical facts are clear, the literal sense is obvious. But we must now search into its spiritual message. That he came to Bethsaida, that there was a blind man there, that he departed, what is there remarkable about all that? Nothing, but what he did there is great; striking, however, only if it should take place today, for we have ceased to wonder about such things.

How, then, is his house not in Bethsaida? Note the text exactly. If we consider the literal interpretation only, it does not make any sense. If this blind man is found in Bethsaida and is taken out and cured, and he is commanded: “Return to your own house,” certainly, he is bid: “Return to Bethsaida.” If, however, he returns there, what is the meaning of the command: “Do not go into the village?” You see, therefore, that the interpretation is symbolic. He is led out from the house of the Jews, from the village, from the law, from the traditions of the Jews. He who could not be cured in the law is cured in the grace of the gospel. It is said to him, “Return to your own house” — not into the house that you think, the one from which he came out, but into the house that was also the house of Abraham, since Abraham is the father of those who believe.” (Tractate on the Gospel of Mark, Homily 79.)

O God,
Who teach us that You abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by Your grace
as to become a dwelling place to You.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen