As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus’ question, “What do you want me to do for you?” perplexes me. Everyone can literally see (except the blind man) that the man is blind and needs Jesus to restore his sight. But Jesus didn’t ask the man what he needed. Jesus asked what he wanted. Our needs and wants aren’t always interchangeable. We are uncomfortable articulating our wants, for fear of sounding whiny, like Spalding from the movie Caddyshack— “I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips.” However, there is also a difference between our selfish wants and our desires.
Desires are our deepest longings —for health, peace, love —that bring us closer to God. It is often when we express our desires that we discover what God’s desires are for us, too. We can find great consolation in “naming it and claiming it,” as my mother says. So, “what do you want Jesus to do for you?” —go ahead, name it and claim it.
—Jackie Lesiak serves as Assistant Principal for Professional Development at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Loving God, you speak to us through all of life. Help me to trust you and to trust that what you desire for me lies in the deepest part of my heart. And, what you desire is that which allows me to grow and to be the person you created me to be —fully human and fully alive. May I always center my life on you and hear joyfully your call to be your companion. Help me to follow my desire to live my life as best I can and to serve others with the special gifts you have given me. Amen.
—Vocation Prayer from www.catholic.org/prayers