First reading Genesis 8:6-13,20-22

The dove returns

At the end of forty days Noah opened the porthole he had made in the ark and he sent out the raven. This went off, and flew back and forth until the waters dried up from the earth. Then he sent out the dove, to see whether the waters were receding from the surface of the earth. The dove, finding nowhere to perch, returned to him in the ark, for there was water over the whole surface of the earth; putting out his hand he took hold of it and brought it back into the ark with him. After waiting seven more days, again he sent out the dove from the ark. In the evening, the dove came back to him and there it was with a new olive-branch in its beak. So Noah realised that the waters were receding from the earth. After waiting seven more days he sent out the dove, and now it returned to him no more.
  It was in the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, in the first month and on the first of the month, that the water dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the hatch of the ark and looked out. The surface of the ground was dry!
  Noah built an altar for the Lord, and choosing from all the clean animals and all the clean birds he offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelt the appeasing fragrance and said to himself, ‘Never again will I curse the earth because of man, because his heart contrives evil from his infancy. Never again will I strike down every living thing as I have done.
‘As long as earth lasts,
sowing and reaping,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
shall cease no more.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 115(116):12-15,18-19

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
How can I repay the Lord
  for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
 
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
  is the death of his faithful.
 
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
  in your midst, O Jerusalem.
 

Gospel Mark 8:22-26

The blind man was cured and could see everything distinctly

Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’ The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about.’ Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly. And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’
 
 
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Slowly and gradually, his sight returned

In today’s gospel, Jesus healed a blind man, but he did not see immediately. Instead, he recovered his sight gradually. When Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes for the first time, he could only see people, but they looked like trees walking about. However, he could see everything after Jesus placed His hands on him the second time.
 
We can perhaps identify with the blind man in today’s passage. Like him, we do not often see and understand situations, people and even God immediately but gradually. Therefore, we need the gift of patience to trust to journey through. Like Noah in the first reading, he had the patience to wait for the flood water to recede. It was only on the third try of sending out the dove that he realised there was no more flood, and all was well again. In this time of prayer, let us ask Jesus to help us to be patient and to trust that God is always working for our good.
 
 
Reflective question:
Do I dare to put patience into practice when things do not happen as quickly as I expect?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.