“‘I do believe, Lord’, and he worshipped him.” John 9:38
I go to Mass on Sundays. I watch YouTube videos with sermons that examine Bible verses when I thirst for scripture. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and right before I close my eyes is open my lavender-colored Bible to whichever passage I land on. I have an app that sends me a bible verse every day at 12:17 am. I open it frequently throughout the day to remind myself to be still and know that God is present. I pray the Rosary daily ever since I received a free baby-pink-colored rosary from Ecuador at my sophomore retreat at Albertus Magnus High School.
However, many times I fall short. I get nervous when I must confront someone. I cry when I am in doubt about making a good or bad decision. I stress when there is too much on my plate. I complain when I am exhausted and want to rest. I live in fear when circumstances are challenging. I question my actions and I put myself down when I make mistakes. I sacrifice sleep time to do homework. Sometimes I even push off prayer. But eventually, I end up praying and putting the full weight of my challenges on the Lord. Finally, I repent for my lack of trust in His plan and then I reaffirm my belief in Him.
Living a life in faith is not easy at all. I try not to question God because He knows me, loves me, and knows that I am inadequate. He is a God who sees me and loves me for who I am, and he sees and loves you too.
As I read through the readings today, two words came to me: “I believe.” Belief is the hope that God gives us when we are in doubt of His plan. When I did Shrek the Musical last year, at the finale of the show, we sang the song “I’m a Believer” by Smash Mouth and we kept saying, “We believe.” The adrenaline was rushing through our lips as we preached the words, “We believe, we believe, we believe.”
Now I am in Legally Blonde the Musical. In the musical number, What You Want, we ask the crowd, “Do you believe?” Then we respond to ourselves saying, “Yes, we believe in love, how about you?”
When hardships arise, I affirm my trust in the Lord, and the question, “Do you believe?” can relate back to many readings in the Gospel when Jesus heals people who chose to believe in him. That is what happened to the blind man from birth. As Jesus placed clay over his eyes to see, the people around him doubted the miracle that Jesus performed.
I am an eighteen-year-old girl. I see the world through two lenses. There are the “believers” and there is what we call “the worldly.” I realized that as a believer I can feel like an outcast when I am surrounded by “the worldly” at times who are also searching for a fulfilling hope. Some people are stuck in the realm of the world and feel too far gone from being a believer. If they turn to Jesus and open their hearts and eyes to Him, their eyes can be opened to see the beauty of living a life with Christ, just like the blind man.
There are many people longing for hope. I notice that many teenagers are longing for hope, but they follow the world to find acceptance. I realized that I can only find true acceptance in Jesus. He knows the real me and he sees me.
I was struck by the verse where Jesus went up to the man whom people labeled as a “beggar,” and he opened his eyes to see the world and his Savior. I believe that Jesus can open the eyes of everyone, and although some will choose not to be a follower, God will still have mercy on them.
When Jesus tells the man, “You have seen him, and the one speaking to you is he,” it is a moment offered to every believer. Perhaps he was not named in the Gospel because he represents all of us. For me, it was one of the most amazing moments in my life. I realized that I had never been alone, unworthy, or permanently distracted by the world. The moment I was born, I was loved.
As a Church, we need to be healers and help our brothers and sisters open their eyes. Jesus wants us to rely on Him every second of the day. We must believe. With belief comes trust. Gaining trust in our Lord comes with Jesus’ fulfilling peace. We have a Lord who can open our eyes every single time that they feel shut. The blind man replied to Jesus, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshipped him. As for now, we can pray for our brothers and sisters who are struggling to believe that they may open their eyes to see the light of the Lord.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my reflection with you today.
Lillian Mercado, AMHS ‘23