Saturday, March 29, 2014

03-30-2014 -- 4th Sunday of Lent, Year A

March 30, 2014 - 4th Sunday of Lent, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

While almost all of us can see with our eyes, there is a spiritual blindness that each of us struggles with.

For most of us, being healed of our spiritual blindness is a gradual process.

The man born blind is physically healed by Jesus, but more importantly, he is spiritually healed as well.

Gradually the man gains his spiritual sight and comes to make his profession of faith: “Lord, I do believe.”

Let's look more carefully at these gospel scenes to try to make some sense of this enlightenment so that we can grow in our faith as well.

Before we begin with the scenes, we have to understand that Jesus makes it clear from the beginning that sickness and disease is not a punishment by God.

People believed that when bad things happened, they were being punished by God for their sins.

It's important for us to understand that this is not so. Our sinful behaviors have consequences, but these consequences are our own doing, not God's. Neither the blind man nor his parents sinned.

The first scene: the physical healing.

When Jesus spits on the ground to make a paste with his saliva, he is using the dirt of the earth to finish creation.

Remember God created Adam from the dirt of the earth. Here Jesus is using the same dirt of the earth to finish creation.

The man is not complete and Jesus gives the blind man his sight.

The second scene: the recognition of the spiritual blindness.

The blind man is healed, but his spiritual blindness remains. The Pharisees ask him, “Where is this Jesus who healed you?” He answers, “I don't know.”

But this isn't good enough for the Pharisees. In their arrogance they are spiritually blind too.

So we move to the third scene where the Pharisees challenge him.

They believe that they are the ones who can judge what comes from God. Jesus is a threat to them because he does not follow their rules.

“How can a sinful man do these things? He's not from God. What do you have to say about him?”

The man, who can now see, says, “He is a prophet.”

The Pharisees set up this “us versus them” confrontation.
“What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

The answer, “I already told you. You did not listen.”

This confrontation leads to the beginning of his belief.
The man, who can now see, is forced to take sides.

They ridiculed him. “You are that man's disciple.”

The fourth scene: the man who can now see becomes bold with faith.

“This is so amazing that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. If this man were not from God he would not be able to do anything.”

What’s so amazing is that the Pharisees cannot see the obvious. Their blindness remains.

The final scene: the spiritual healing and the profession of faith.

Jesus seeks the man out again to finish what he started.
When the man encounters Jesus again his spiritual healing is complete, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

His spiritual eyes are now open and he sees and believes.

This gospel is about seeing, seeing God at work in the world through his son Jesus.

Jesus is challenging us to look at our lives to discover our own blindness, our own tendency to be like the Pharisees.

Jesus helps us, who are spiritually blind, to see God’s creation, of which we are a part. He opens our eyes.

But for those among us who already think they know God’s plan and purpose, Jesus’ presence makes them blind.

Let us open our eyes to begin to see the Lord at work in our hearts, in our lives, in our world, so that we can begin to be healed of our spiritual blindness.

No comments:

Post a Comment