A Word #138| Fourth Sunday of Lent| March 26, 2017

Mar 29, 2017

“Then Jesus said," I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind."

The other day there was a power outage in the neighborhood of the parish house. It would have been all right if it happened during the day, but the power failure occurred at night. When the electricity went out, the house and the entire neighborhood was in complete darkness. Inside the parish house, I could barely see in front of me. I thought to myself, now this is what it feels like to be blind! Ultimately, the power came after a few minutes. This recent power outage provided me an insight into the message of today’s Gospel.

In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus meets a man born blind. Never had this man seen the light of day. His life, up to his encounter with Jesus, was in complete darkness. Although many had faulted his parents as the cause of his blindness, Jesus demonstrates that blindness is less about the gift of sight but more about the gift of faith. The miracle that Jesus performs at the chagrin of the Jewish authorities reveals the empowerment that faith provides. The washing of the blind man at the Pool of Siloam is a preview to the effects of Christian baptism. Through baptism, we are able to see not just through our physical eyes but also see through the eyes of faith.

Without faith in Jesus we are truly blind, just like I was when the power went out. Faith enables us to see the things that physical sight does not. We see the entrapment that a person of faith possess. In the Gospel, many people thought that the sins of the parents were the reason for their son’s blindness. How absurd is that? Why would the choices of the parents result in some permanent disability in their offspring? How often do we blame God for the bad things that happen in our lives? How often do we cry on God and ask where He is? The answer to that question is that He is always present and Jesus never wills harm to happen to us.

Through faith, this blind man was able to see. He regained his sight because He had faith in the one who said He could heal him. Do we have faith that Jesus can do anything for us? Faith in Jesus enables us to see how He sees. Remember, we are finite and limited whereas Jesus is not. Jesus can see the whole picture where we can’t. The disciples in the Gospel were stuck on the notion that this man was born blind because of his parent, and in comparison Jesus saw this encounter as an opportunity to reveal who He is as the Son of God.

 To be a Christian means that we see everything through the eyes of God. Sometimes it is easy to recognize this and at other times it is not. But to be baptized like the man born blind means that we need to see beyond the horizon as God does. We must want to see the bigger picture of life. If we do, God will amaze us of the simplicity. During these remaining weeks of Lent, ask God to lift the darkness that our unfaithfulness produces in order that we can see through the lens of the Cross the glory of the Resurrection, since the Cross is not the end of the story but rather the beginning. Even though we may feel that we are in darkness as I was several weeks ago, faith helps us see through the darkness that we may encounter.

 In Christ,

 

 Fr. John