By Elizabeth Baumann
A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 9:27-34
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” 31 But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district. 32 After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.”
“When he entered the house…” In today’s lesson, two blind men follow after Jesus begging to be healed. They follow him all the way to the house where he is going, all the way expressing their faith that he is the “Son of David,” the Messiah. It’s not until they all enter the house that Jesus deals with them. Jesus asks them for secrecy. They proclaim him anyway, probably not a surprise to anyone, considering they were willing to follow Jesus through town calling out. Silence isn’t their forte.
“When he entered the house…” I wonder what it was Jesus was trying to communicate by waiting for a private moment and then asking for secrecy. But I’m struck that he didn’t wait just for any private place, but a house — a dwelling — a place where a family lives and their lives unfold. We’ve all spent an unusual amount of time at home in the last year and a half, and we’ve probably all learned things about our homes’ limitations, but hopefully we’ve also rediscovered some of home’s blessings.
But here’s a thing about homes: they don’t just happen. They’re not accidents. Beyond decorating and cleaning them, homes have to be fostered. In the pandemic, we weren’t given much choice, but normally, home is someplace you have to choose to be, a place you have to choose to invest yourself in. Goodness knows there are plenty of other places and people clamoring for our attendance and attention.
“When he entered the house…” Jesus chose a home. He chose one for the miracle in today’s lesson, and he chooses one for himself in every tabernacle and in each one of us. By his own example, then, may we also choose to enter deeply into our own homes and make them places for life to flourish.
Elizabeth Baumann is a seminary graduate, a priest’s wife, and the mother of two small daughters. A transplant from the West Coast, she now lives in “the middle of nowhere” in the Midwest with too many cats.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
The Diocese of Gboko (Church of Nigeria)
Church of St. Edward the Martyr, New York, N.Y.