Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Introduction 

The fellow who used to sit and beg becomes the one who stands and gives witness. The one they knew as the man born blind becomes the only one with clear sight. Are we surprised? This is the way with God’s people. The last are first. The meek inherit the earth. The loser takes all, and the crucified one is raised from the dead. It all makes sense.

The Pharisees who question the man call themselves disciples of Moses, but in fact they follow their own sense of how the world works. Blind people stay blind; sinners break Sabbath law. For Jesus to come and cure a blind man on the Sabbath upsets the apple cart of reason and piety. This is unacceptable to those who consider themselves religious. Even God, after all, has to keep to the divine place! It can be particularly true of religious people that we want the Sacred to remain inert in the Tabernacle to be worshipped. If Holy Power escapes into the world, who can be safe from its freedom to act?

The Scripture (John 9: 6 – 8) Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

Having said this, Jesus spat on the ground and made a mud ointment from a mixture of dust and saliva. He pasted the mud over the blind man’s eyes and sent him off to wash himself in the Siloam Pool. The man went and washed, and when he came back he could see. It certainly caused a stir.

The Connection

You’ve obviously heard the beautiful song, ‘Open My Eyes, Lord’ by Jesse Manibusan. The need to be open to God and the people around us is constant. But what does it mean to ask for open eyes, ears, and hearts? It sounds so simple! Yet how often do we close our eyes or turn the channel on our TV when we see faces of people who are suffering? How often do we close our ears and ignore the cries of the poor, far and near? How often do we close our hearts and show love only to those who are easy for us to love?

The Lenten journey shouldn’t be a guilt-inducing experience, but it should be an eye-opening one. Our fasting shouldn’t be just an empty ritual, but should lead us to a new understanding about those whose fasting is not a choice but a reality because they have no food. Our prayer shouldn’t be an escape from the difficult realities of life, but an opportunity to help us deal with them more effectively. And our almsgiving shouldn’t be just a Lenten discipline, but should lead us to recognise the need to share our time and treasure more completely all year long. Pray for open eyes, ears, and hearts, and be ready to jump into action when your prayer is answered!

Where are the places in my life where I might be closing my eyes, ears, or heart to something or someone? Who are the people in my life who help open my eyes, ears, and heart to something about myself?

The Commissioning

Go now as those who have seen and wish to share Christ’s wonderful light:
the light of peace for the troubled,
the light of hope for the lost,
the light of healing for the suffering,
the light of justice for the overlooked,
the light of action for the apathetic,
the light of patience for the hasty,
the light for faith for the searching,
the light of presence for the dying,
the light of comfort for the bereaved.
Christ’s wonderful light. We will share that light.

GPBS © (2023)

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