The light of Christ is available to all who choose to see
Reflections on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (March 22, 2020): 1 SM 16:1,6-7,10-13; PS 23:1-3,3-4,5,6; EPH 5:8-14; JN 9:1-41
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Light and darkness. Sight and blindness. The readings for today address the way we see with our eyes and through our souls. Our vision, both physical and spiritual, affects our whole life. In the Old Testament reading, we are reminded that not as man sees does God see. We tend to make quick judgments based on appearances, but what we see in a glance must only be the beginning of our understanding. What is in the heart of another – and in our own heart – is what matters. In the Gospel, we have the profound story of the man born blind and his meeting with Jesus as well as the many other people who involve themselves in the situation. Christ’s disciples start by asking who is guilty of sin: the blind man or his parents. It was taken as a given that his blindness must be a punishment from God. Jesus refutes this and, calling Himself the light of the world, heals the man. Then controversy comes from neighbors and, especially, Pharisees who question the miracle and whether it was really from God. “They called the man who had been blind and said to him, ‘Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner.’ He replied, ‘If He is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see’” (John 9:24-25).
This man must have been afraid of the power of the religious leaders, yet he would not deny the truth. He who had never before seen anything but darkness now saw not only with his eyes but also with his soul. The Pharisees could not recognize Jesus for who He was. What was worse, they did not want to accept Him. Despite our Lord’s words of hope and wisdom, despite His many miracles, despite the loving goodness He embodied, they persisted in their self-imposed spiritual blindness. Now, as we celebrate Laetare Sunday and move into the final weeks of Lent, let us open ourselves to our Savior, the Light of the World, and humbly invite Him to reveal Himself to us more clearly.