In today's Gospel reading, why does Jesus lead the blind man away from the village to heal him? And why did he warn him not to go back into the village?
I think a clue to the answer is in how long it took him to receive his healing. Jesus gave him vision, but he only received it partially; Jesus had to pray for him a second time.
Have you ever "seen" something new, some new insight or answered prayer, which helped you grow in faith, but when you told others about it, their skepticism made you doubt it? We have to protect our minds from anything that hampers our belief in God's love and his compassionate help.
When we share our good news, if it's not accepted, it's better to "leave that village" or at least change the subject. This is not anti-evangelization; we are not failing to be the witnesses that Christ commissioned us to be when we were baptized.
The blind man was probably too easily influenced by the doubts of the people around him. If he had trouble believing that a miracle would actually happen to him, it's no wonder his healing came slowly. Jesus dealt with this by taking him by the hand and giving him private attention. Had Jesus prayed for him in front of the townsfolk, the man might have focused on them and their opinions, rather than on Jesus.
We need to be selective about the people we listen to and spend time with. In the business world, those most likely to succeed are people who make friends with those who are already successful. Psychological studies have shown that by surroundings ourselves with happy, upbeat people, our spirits are uplifted, and that we when we're constantly with people who are depressed and pessimistic, we become like them. In Christianity, spending time with others who are strong in the faith will help us grow in the faith.
For this reason, it's very important that whenever our churches offer parish retreats and other faith-building events, we should make it a top priority to attend -- and stay afterwards for the refreshments to socialize with others. We should also join Small Christian Communities (faith-sharing groups) or Charismatic prayer groups to gain more faith-filled friendships.
When we spend time being influenced by truly Christian people and truly Christ-like attitudes, we open our hearts to the truth, the healings, and the answers to our prayers that we need. As we grow stronger in faith, we become the successful witnesses that Christ commissioned us to be. Then, the time and compassion we give to others will open their hearts for the truth and the miracles that Jesus wants to give to them.