He saw that the face of the ground was dry.
A reading from the Book of Genesis 8:6- 13.20-22
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made, and sent forth a raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put forth his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf, so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she did not return to him anymore. In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odour, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 116:12-13.14- 15.18- 19 (R. cf. 1 7a)
R/. A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
How can I repay the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the name of the Lord. R/.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.
How precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful. R/.
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. R/.
ALLELUIA Ephesians 1:17-18
Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts that we might know what is the hope to which he has called us. Alleluia.
“He restored sight to the blind man and he saw everything clearly.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 8:22-26
At that time: Jesus and the disciples came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees, walking.” Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The act of Noah, sending out the raven and the dove to see if the waters have abated is a lesson of hope and trust. His choice of a raven and a dove signifies his quest for peace, love and forgiveness. This same quest is the motivating factor for the people who bring the blind man to Jesus and beg him to touch the man see not just faintly but clearly. Peace, love and forgiveness will be far from us when we are blind to God or see him faintly, but when we allow him to restore our eyes and make us see clearly we will see ‘what hope his call holds for us’. Let us beg God to make us his instruments of peace, love and forgiveness.