There have been other stories in which Jesus gave sight to the blind. This one is different in that Jesus did the miracle in two stages. First he gave sight to the blind man, but he left him not knowing what he was looking at.
It is the same with infants. They have sight, but their wide blue eyes puzzle over a scene where near objects and distant objects all appear in flatness. By putting her baby mind to work for two weeks, she figures out how the shading puts things in proper perspective.
We can use today’s first reading in connection with the Gospel miracle as a metaphor for what happens with our becoming Christians. The first reading says:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and Father is this: to care for widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Although we are baptized and we pass for being Christians, spiritually speaking, we might remain like the man who saw people looking like trees. Like the baby teaching herself perspective, we must tend to the needs of widows and orphans, and we must keep ourselves unstained by the world if we want to be seen as truly religious.