An interesting article in yesterday's paper told of an elite detective unit in Belgium. Their specialty is deciphering wiretaps and other audio clues. To get a badge, though, you have to be blind. All their work is focused on listening.
Today's Gospel has a similar focus. The blind beggar on the side of the Jericho road hears the roar of a crowd and tries to interpret it. Finally, he has to ask what is going on. It is Jesus coming to town. The beggar joins the cacophony with his own cry, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!"
Then Jesus hears him. Jesus picked that one voice out of the crowd and stopped in the middle of the street. Jesus heard someone call him by name.
Jesus then "ordered that he be brought to him." The blind man had to listen to those emissaries and trust the message enough to let himself be led to Jesus. It is interesting that Jesus did not go himself: he willed that there be a form of mediation, and an extension of his presence through others.
St. Paul says, "Faith comes through hearing, and what is heard comes through the Word of Christ." So seeing is not believing: hearing is.