Outside Our Comfort Zone

As Jesus entered the town of Bethsaida, the people brought him a blind man, and what was the very first thing Jesus did? He took this man “by the hand and led him outside the village” (Mk 8:23). Jesus led him outside what is familiar, outside his comfort zone. Jesus guided him away from this crowd of people who were perhaps some of his family, friends, or caretakers.

Why would Jesus take this poor blind man outside the very walls where he feels some level of comfort and familiarity? Do I ever feel like I find myself in a place outside of my own comfort zone? What might we learn from this?

Perhaps Jesus does not want us to depend on that familiarity. When we live in the familiar, we do not stretch or grow. We tend to rely on our “everyday way” of doing things. In these moments, we do not try to see. We live in unawareness and resort to a kind of robotic existence. Used to our own hurts and weaknesses, we do not reach for greatness. However, when we are UNcomfortable, we must use all of our senses to maintain our balance. We look as if for the first time. We are more fully present.

Instinctively, most of us avoid leaving our comfort zone because, well, it’s comfortable there. Do we realize that in choosing comfort, we are denying ourselves the very opportunity to be led by Christ’s own Hand? Think about it this way. When we are comfortable, we lean into ourselves, but when we are uncomfortable, we have the chance to lean on Christ. Pray in the depths of your heart: Jesus lead me. Take me by the hand and gently guide me anywhere you want me to go. Let me not fear discomfort, for I am safe in Your Hands.

Up Close and Personal

That is the Savior we have! We have Jesus who wants to interact with us in a very personal way, in a very intimate manner. He does not act from afar but enters up close and personal into the messiness of our lives. He is Emmanuel, God with us!

In this Gospel, Jesus goes about this seemingly strange act of using saliva to heal this man’s blindness. Saliva seems a strange choice. What could it represent? What might He want us to understand?

Jesus gives the blind man the essence of Himself, this Kiss of Christ in a sense. That is how personal Jesus is! He withholds nothing from us.

Do You See Anything?

After touching his eyes the first time, Jesus asks, “Do you see anything?”

I have noticed something about Jesus in the Gospels. He never asks a question because he needs an answer. He asks questions for the benefit of the one listening.

Do you see anything?

This is a question we must ask every day. What do I see? How is Jesus acting in my life? Growing in awareness of Christ’s personal intimate actions helps us to grow in our relationship with Him. It fertilizes our gratitude. We begin to seek Him more intensely and look for Him in the small moments of our lives. This is when our blindness is being healed – in these moments of growing awareness of the Greatest Lover of our Souls.

Let us pray: My Jesus, thank you for your steady Hand that strengthens and guides me. Thank you for the way you speak personally and intimately into my heart. Give me the eyes to see you, the ears to hear you, the mind to know you, and the heart to love you. You are my Love, my Healer, my Life!

Celina Manville

I have been in education for 20+ years, mostly working in Catholic schools serving children with special needs. Ed and I have been married over 26 years and have 3 (now) adult children - Eddie, Tony, & Kateri. Since my mom was from Brazil, and I speak fluent Portuguese, I can understand Spanish fairly well. Currently, we live in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and are parishioners at St. Luke, the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh. I am most grateful to my parents for grounding me in the faith, to the Franciscan University of Steubenville for its amazing formation and education, and to Christ and His Blessed Mother for being at my side.

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