“As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging; and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ And he cried, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Luke 18.35-39)
“As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, ‘Son of David, have pity on us!’” (Matthew 9.27)
The crowds follow Jesus; nations and peoples believe in him. And now, see two blind men seated at the roadside (Mt 20.29f.). These are an image of those faithful who bind themselves to him by believing in the mysteries of his humanity. They long for illumination from on high; they ask for some ray of light concerning the eternal Word. Christ’s humanity is the road leading to salvation. It is through Jesus, by faith in the Incarnation and Passion of the Son of God that they strive to obtain what they desire. In fact Jesus passes by, so to speak, in the mystery of his mortal life; the work he accomplishes is the measure of his passage in time.
To make ourselves heard by him we have to shout out loudly; we have to overcome the noise and bustle of the crowd; we have to pray insistently and perseveringly. The impulses of the flesh are what besiege the soul like a rabble when it wants to behold the eternal light and which set themselves up against its attempts. It is the influence of the dregs of the society of fleshly men that comes to prevent the spirit’s meditation. We have to have very great spiritual strength to overcome all these obstacles.
Jesus said: “Everyone who asks, receives, everyone who seeks, finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened” (Mt 7.8). And so, when he hears those who, in their burning desire, come up to him, Jesus stops on the road, touches those blind men who are asking for light and enlightens them. O wonderful mystery!
It is Jesus passing by: his appearance in the frailty of the flesh is only for a moment. It is Jesus who stops: the eternity of the Word is unmoving, renewing all things, changeless in itself. Faith in the Incarnation in time prepares us to understand God’s eternal mystery. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)