“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit” (Lk 6:39)?
This phrase from today’s Gospel appears to be one of Jesus’ simple teachings. It seems to be straightforward, practical and makes sense. Yet, as with much of what Jesus teaches, there is a deeper level. The are many degrees of spiritual blindness that we can succumb to, and follow others, thinking we are improving, yet allowing them to lead us to fall into a pit.
Succumbing to a cult of personality is very tempting to many of us. Who are our models, our heroes? Who is it that we seek to emulate. Are they people who are seeking all that is good, true and beautiful? Are they people who are guiding us to our highest hope and good to actualize our potential, or do they constantly lead us astray?
We need people in our lives that are not afraid to tell us the truth, or who respect us enough to guide us in such a way that they do not manipulate and take advantage of our blind spots but instead, help reveal to us our shortsightedness and give us the light to see a clearer path to avoid the pitfalls along the way.
My wife, JoAnn, was a person who did just that. She spoke openly and freely about what was on her mind. She was open to hear about her own weaknesses and faults and was willing to help me see mine as well. When I had time to digest her insights, I agreed with her assessment the majority of the time. JoAnn helped me to move beyond my comfort zones as well as pull me back when I would overextend myself by helping me to learn to say no. I often discerned God’s will through her redirection or confirmation.
My heart continues to be heavy with JoAnn no longer in my life while at the same time full of gratitude for having been blessed to have spent twenty-three years of marriage together. I became a much better person with JoAnn in my life and I believe she continues to guide me to better understand and discern God’s will going forward each day.
For JoAnn, Fr. Ray, my cousin Serge, JoAnn’s aunt Rose, my Godmother Claudette, Brigette, those you may know who have also recently died, and especially those we commemorate today on 9/11, let us remember that death does not have the final answer – Jesus does.
Photo: One of the earliest pictures from when JoAnn and I began dating.