"Do you believe that I can do this for you?" (Matt 9:28).
Today's gospel about two blind men emphasizes the futility of any situation in which "the blind lead the blind." Only a miracle can restore both sight and insight to such a calamity. Imagine whole nations and cultures in which blind leaders are guiding a blind populace, whose biases and prejudices are cultivated to distort everything and promote false goals and values.
Jesus responds to the cries of the blind men by first probing their faith. Do they understand the implications of what they are asking? If they are granted "sight" their entire lives will be changed, and new choices will appear. Physical sight in the gospels is always linked to faith, and faith leads to discipleship. How far are these men willing to go? The more they see, the more responsible they will become to follow, or imitate, Jesus, whose ultimate goal is not just miracles but transforming the world.
The adage, "Be careful what you pray for; you might get it," is relevant to this story. Do we really want to see as God sees? Do we really want to leave behind our self-affirming blindness to become disciples of justice and love in a troubled world? Advent prepares us to welcome the light that reveals God's active presence in our lives. Do we really believe that God can do this? If we do, Christmas is about to come true for us.