22 March 2020
Sunday of the 4th Week of Lent
Now I see! We often use this phrase to express that we understand something, that we previously did not understand or perceive. Jesus restoring the sight of the man born blind may seem to be just one more account of his compassionate healing ministry. Jesus is certainly being compassionate, as he gives this man sight, but there is much more going on here than meets the eye, (pun intended). Jesus is eliciting from the man, a profession of faith, which the man, at the conclusion of today’s Gospel reading makes; “I do believe, Lord” and he worshiped him”.
One of the most fruitful ways for us to read a passage from the Gospel is to place ourselves into the Gospel story. Each one of us is the man born blind, for we are all spiritually blind. We see not as God sees, but as human beings see. The reading from the First Book of Samuel emphasizes this point. Samuel is sent to anoint a new King for Israel. He is to choose among Jesse’s sons. As he inspects each of the sons, Samuel is sure that Eliab, the oldest and strongest son is the one to be named King, but Samuel is spiritually blind, he does not see as God sees. No, God chooses David the youngest and the smallest. In the end, David will be Israel’s greatest King.
Our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic of the coronavirus. Our daily schedule is disrupted, plans we made months or even a year ago evaporate with each new restriction. We worry about our financial situation and our health and the health of loved ones. God is not the cause of this pandemic, but God can and will bring good out of this terrible situation. When the disciples ask Jesus “Rabbi who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. “Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned.” We are not being punished for our sins or the sins of anyone else, but we are to see in our current situation an opportunity. This is what Jesus is teaching his disciples when he says, “it is so that the works of God may be made visible through him”. That is though us, for we are all the blind man.
Like the man born blind, let us make or renew our profession of faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and it is in him that we find salvation. I say this with one caveat; that we must take care that our profession of Faith is not to a Jesus of our own imagination, but to the Jesus of the New Testament. The Jesus who taught the greatest commandment is to love God and neighbor. The Jesus who told us to turn the other cheek and the Jesus who said, we must take up our cross and follow him. We pray that our eyes may be open to seeing Christ as he truly is and in seeing him; believe and follow him. – Fr. Eilerman
Let us Pray,
O God, who through your Word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.