The Parishes of Crail and St Ayle

Reflections from Catherine Wilson 

Sunday - 24 October 2021

Gathering into the presence of God.

“It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31: 8

 

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Dear friends in Crail and St Ayle,

As I wrote in my previous reflection in September, as I grow older, I become more forgetful.  Another consequence of the passage of time is that my eyesight, especially for reading, is deteriorating.  These two conditions combined in an unfortunate manner recently, when I was scheduled recently to read the lessons in church and realised after the service had started that I had left my reading glasses in the car.  I had thought I would cope as I stepped up to the lectern but soon realised that I was struggling.  A sense of panic swept over me which made matters worse.  What I should have done was raise my eyes, metaphorically, and physically, to seek God’s help.  And had I raised my eyes physically, I would have seen the words projected on the screens before me, words which were of a size that I could have read.

 

I wonder whether next time that I start to panic when something starts to go wrong, I will think to ‘lift my eyes to God’ and to seek His help.  I hope I will!  After all we have his reassurance so many times that he is with us at all times ready to help, to guide, to love us and to save us.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.                                           Isaiah 41: 10

 

Catherine W

The Word of God: Mark 10:46-52

The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus

46 They came to Jericho.  As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’  48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ 49 Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’  And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’  50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.  51 Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’  52 Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’  Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

 

Reflection

This is a story of faith and healing.  To many of us, it is a well-known story, and, as with many ‘well- known stories’, it may be that we don’t think deeply enough about it as we read it.  So perhaps we should take some time and imagine ourselves as people within the crowd that day, excited at being with Jesus and, quite possibly, rather annoyed at this beggar, shouting from the roadside.  Then we witness a very different reaction from Jesus. Does this make us reflect on our tendency to make snap judgements about others who are not ‘quite like us’?

Then we might imagine ourselves as the blind man and how we might feel on hearing that the healer of all manner of diseases is coming by.  Shall we call out, how might he react, and how might we respond?  And when Jesus gives us what we have asked for, are we prepared to follow him wherever he might lead us?

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we read in your Word that, “where there is no vision the people perish – but blessed is the one that heeds instruction.” Father forgive us for seeking according to our own limited, human vision rather than seeking your eternal vision.

You have promised to lead and guide all those who follow you in faith and you have undertaken to give wisdom and vision to all who come to you trustingly and in humility of heart.  We pray for spiritual vision and ask you to lead and guide us in the days that lie ahead.

Open our eyes to see your will for our lives and keep us from following our own natural inclinations and from allowing our fluctuating emotions to dictate our decisions.   May we be led by your Spirit to do only those things that are pleasing in your sight, and which are best for us – for only when we seek to live following the example of our saviour, Christ Jesus, will the purpose for our lives be truly fulfilled. These prayers we ask in Jesus’ name.

Amen

 

A further reflection

 

In his book Anam Cara (Spiritual wisdom from the Celtic world) John O’ Donohue writes of a Spirituality of the Senses, and in exploring styles of vision ascribes different qualities to the eye: the greedy eye through which everything can be possessed; the judgemental eye which never sees in a compassionate way; the resentful eye which is begrudging and does not enjoy what life offers; the indifferent eye and so on.  Then he comes to the loving eye.  Love, he writes, is the light in which we see light.  Love is the light in which we see each thing in its true origin, nature and destiny.  “The loving eye is bright because it is autonomous and free.   It can look lovingly on anything.  The loving vision does not become entangled in power, opposition or complicity.  It rises above blame and judgement . . . . . . ”

 

Let us pray that God will bless us with loving eyes!                                                                                                

 

Blessing

May the God who hears our needs
and answers the cries of our hearts
be with us today and always,
a sure and certain strength.

And may the faithful love of the Creator,
the healing presence of the Christ,
the life-giving power of the Spirit
attend us this day and forevermore

Amen