Let us rejoice in this Lent, with a focus on faith
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 “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
This Fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as Laetare Sunday, from the traditional Latin opening word of the Mass, “Rejoice!” It is a reminder that we are about half way through this solemn season on our journey to Easter. And the man who was born blind whom we encounter when Jesus heals him certainly has his own reason to celebrate. Yet nothing about this reading from the Gospel according to John is simple. From Christ’s disciples to neighbors to religious leaders to the man’s parents, all have their own perceptions colored by their beliefs and prejudices. And, over and over, there are questions. In this chapter of 41 verses there are 16 questions. The people all appear to want to get at the facts, but only our Redeemer is able to reveal the truth to those who will see and hear it. In their final meeting, Jesus seeks out the man he healed of blindness in order to offer him another, far greater gift. “He found him and said ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen Him, the one who is speaking with you is He’ He said, ‘I do believe, Lord,’ and he worshipped Him” (John 9:35-38).
This man who had been blind from birth, who had suffered all the difficulties of blindness, the likely scorn of those around him, and who had to beg for his livelihood, was now transformed. He was given not only sight, but faith. And he offered Christ more than his gratitude. Recognizing Jesus first as a man, he came to understand that He was the Son of Man – and worshipped Him.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask the Lord to guide us in revealing His loving message to all we meet. And we can also make an effort to share His mercy with others by regularly supporting the work of the Church’s Missions.