Christ Heals Our blindness
Today is fourth Sunday of Lent called “Laetare” Sunday. This Sunday is marked by a relaxation from the penitential character of the Lenten season.
This Sunday, the Holy Mother Church urges us to be joyful and relax because Christ our shepherd illuminates us, and heals our blindness. Whatever He touches he turns into light. He touched both the eyes and the heart of the blind man and gave him sight and faith. Faith in Jesus means seeing this world in his light and, in that light, living a life of goodness, humility, Patience, honesty, openness, obedience to His will, perseverance in prayer, trusting in the Divine providence and truth.
There is much to learn today from our first reading. First, Samuel obeyed God by going to where he was sent to go, specifically to Jesse’s tribe. Humbly and patiently, he followed and obeyed God’s instructions: “Send for him, we will not seat down to eat until he comes.” He did not rush into quick decision by anointing any other person. Instead, he waited patiently until the right candidate arrived. So, we must be patient with God in our life situations not to make quick wrong decisions.
Also, we must not allow physical appearance to deceive us. It is quite unfortunate that often times we elect our leaders based on their physical qualities alone. The result has always been catastrophic. On the contrary, when we make the right choice, people are truly liberated, the blind see; the lame work, the hungry are fed, and peace reigns.
In the second reading of today St. Paul reminds us of our former state in darkness before Christ illuminated and liberated us. St. Paul advises us to “…live as children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth.” St. Paul simply means that Christ is the light that illumines our life. Living outside Him means abiding in darkness. Therefore, this season and beyond it, we must make much effort to remain and live in Christ, the light of our life and salvation.
In today’s gospel, Jesus restored the sight of a man born blind. Here Jesus proves that he cares for the wellbeing of his flock. This is especially, for the sick, the weak and the marginalized. Again, today he broke another cultural and religious barrier in order to save the blind man. He healed him on a Sabbath day without minding about the consequences and he attended to the very important need of the blind man.
Jesus’ disciples asked him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” From this question, it is obvious that the notion was that all sufferings were caused by sin. However, Jesus’ response proved otherwise. God permits somethings to happen for the manifestation of his glory. In other words, this miracle remarkably revealed the divinity of Jesus and the power and glory of God.
The lessons which we must learn from the story of the man born blind and healed by Jesus, includes: that the man was obedient to the instruction given to him: “Go wash in the pool of Siloam,” Secondly, we must be consistent with our words, faith, convictions and truth. In spite of all the intimidations from the Pharisees, the man remained truthful and firm without denying Christ. Instead, he insisted that it was Jesus that healed him. According to St. John Chrysostom, “The Pharisees cast him out of the Temple; but the Lord of the Temple found him.
We need to allow Jesus to heal our spiritual blindness. We all have blind-spots — in our marriages, our parenting, our work habits, and our personalities. We are often blind to the presence of the Triune God dwelling within us and fail to appreciate His presence in others. Even practicing Christians can be blind to the poverty, injustice and pain around them. Let us remember, however, that Jesus wants to heal our blindness. We need to ask him to remove from us the root causes of our blindness: namely, self-centeredness, greed, anger, hatred, prejudice, jealousy, addiction to evil habits and hardness of heart.
The salvation that Christ offers us is like an illumination. He heals the blindness of our hearts and gives us the strength and faith to withstand the crisis and goliaths of this world with his grace. Christ himself, who was obedient to God unto death, is our light and healer. Whoever believes and accepts this illumination into his life is like one whose eyes were opened. This is because we were born blind and in darkness and only in Christ and through Christ, that we experience the power of the light of the Divine Mercy. The good news is that Christ liberates and heals our spiritual blindness.
Let us humbly ask Christ to open our eyes that we may see his presence and experience Him in our Eucharistic family and in our world and then we can confidently say: “The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fr. Jude CSSp.