A fellow Precious Blood priest, Fr. Marvin Steffes, C.PP.S., was a man of hands-on spirituality with no fluff. He so often observed “most people are going to be saved because they are so ignorant.”  I know he included the two of us. The Epistle to the Hebrews says we priests—ignorant, erring, and beset by weakness ourselves—are to deal patiently with others.

No surprise that the Scriptures are so full of “being delivered, brought back, restored by God.”  Common to all of us is we have been held captives in alien lands of resentment, backbiting, passion, greed, addiction and moral blindness of all kinds.

We join Bartimaeus remembered by St. Mark in the Gospel in crying out, “have pity on me.  I want to see.” As we open our mouths to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus opens our blind eyes.  He gives us spiritual insight, perspective and clarity.

The Responsorial Psalm 126 exclaims “When the Lord brought back the captives our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with rejoicing.” What a great description of our reception of the Eucharist this Sunday!

We quickly call to mind in prayer these still held captives, yearning to escape violence, ignorance, poverty, sexual abuse and neglect.

Deliver us from every evil. Amen

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Fr. Al Naseman, C.PP.S., is a preacher and retreat leader who lives at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio.