THREE BLIND MICE
The title of my homily for this 1st Friday of Advent is, “Three Blind Mice.”
I want to preach on the theme of blindness.
Well, because that’s what hit me when I read today’s first reading and noticed the phrase from Isaiah 29:18: “the eyes of the blind shall see.” Then I read today’s gospel from Matthew 9: 27-31 about the two blind men who cried out to Jesus as he passed by, “Son of David, have pity on us.”
TWO BLIND MICE - THREE BLIND MICE
Because Matthew talks about two blind men, I began wondering about the nursery rhyme, “Two Blind Mice.”
I looked it on Google only to discover that the nursery rhyme is, “Three Blind Mice.”
I did find mention of a play on Broadway from 1949 - entitled, “Two Blind Mice.” It was about 2 women who ran a government office - the U.S. Government Office of Medicinal Herbs. It was cut by Congress - but not for these ladies - who kept it going for 4 more years - raising money from renting rooms and parking down below. They simply never answered the phone. It played from March 2, till July 16, 1949. It failed and folded - because as someone said, Samuel Spewack wrote and directed the whole thing. and was blind to any other suggestions.
Then I looked 3 Blind Mice and found that Wikipedia report very interesting.
Let me read - I can’t sing - the Nursery Rhyme, “Three Blind Mice.”
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?
Like many of these nursery rhymes, there are various theories about their meaning. Is this one a dig at some king or queen? Is this one all about life?
At times we are like mice - running around - dashing from here to there with great fear? Are we like the farmer’s wife - who like many folks - are scared of mice - but at times we have to face our fears and cut their tails off.
Is this a parable about Queen Mary who had 3 Bishops who were protesting against the Catholic Church blinded? In reality they were burnt to death. Is this about Protestants being blind? Supposedly this Queen Mary got the name, Bloody Mary - because under her queenship 280 to 300 protesters were killed.
Such theories exist. Queen Elizabeth who followed her had some Catholics killed - but far fewer. Henry VIII had a lot more killed than Queen Mary. During his 37 year reign 57,000 to 72,000 were executed. Some think these numbers are an exaggeration.
I choose this topic because it gets at the issue of blindness.
I choose it because it gets me to the story of the 2 blind men in today’s gospel.
These 2 men have a great prayer; “Son of David, have pity on us.”
It’s important to recognize and to state that we all need to take pity on ourselves and each other - that we are blind.
Listen to people. We’re all off on how blind, how stupid, others can be. They don’t know how to park. Then don’t know how to drive. They don’t use their turn signals. They are selfish, deaf, dumb and blind.
There is help. We can change. We can grow. We can learn to see. We can say this because we have more than our eyes. We also have our mouth and our ears here on our head. They call all be used to communicate with each other. To ask others, “What are you seeing? What’s your opinion? What’s your take on this?” Then to listen to each other - to see other’s view points - viewing reasoning.
TWO BLIND MEN
I also noticed that Matthew when he talks about blind men, he has two scenes in his gospel about blind men calling out. Check out Matthew 9: 27 and Matthew 20:30. There is another scene when Matthew talks about 1 blind man: Matthew 12:22.
In Mark, Luke and John, it’s only 1 blind man. And they use the pronoun I and me!
Check out Mark 8:22 and 10:46 and Luke 18:35 and John 9.
Matthew is later than Mark, so I wondered if Matthew has an agenda here about community versus individuals. We instead of me.
Let me come with a conclusion.
After admitting I, we are blind - like 3 blind mice - to pray the prayer of the 2 blind men in today’s gospel, “Son of David, have pity on us!”
To take a rosary and say that prayer on each of the 59 beads, “Son of David! Have pity on us.”
Or just the last part, “Have pity on us.”
Or the prayer of Bartimeus - “Lord, that I might see.”
Ooops change it to: “Lord, that we might see.”