Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 19 February 2020
Gospel: Mark 8:22-26
The Gospel today gives an account of the cure of a blind man. This episode of a cure constitutes the beginning of a long instruction from Jesus to the disciples and then ends with the cure of another blind man, Bartimaeus. Between the two cures of the blind men, is found a long instruction on the Cross.
In this broader context, Mark suggests to the readers that those who are truly blind are Peter and the other disciples. They do not understand the proposal of Jesus when He spoke about the suffering and the cross. Peter accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but not as a suffering Messiah. 
The Gospel today indicates how difficult it was to cure the first blind man. Jesus had to cure this man in two different stages. The cure of the disciples was also difficult, because what really produced blindness in them was the cross.
In the year 70, when Mark was writing, the situation of the communities was not easy. There was much suffering, many crosses. Six years before, in 64, the Emperor Nero had decreed the first great persecution. In the year 70, in Palestine, the Romans were destroying Jerusalem. In the other countries, a great tension between the converted Jews and the non-converted Jews was beginning. 
The greatest difficulty was the cross of Jesus. The Jews thought that a crucified person could not be the Messiah who was so awaited by the people. The cross is not an accident on the way, but forms part of this road. Because in a world organized around egoism, love and service can exist only crucified!