Fourth Sunday in Lent

On the Fourth Sunday in Lent we read in the Gospel of John Chapter 9, about a man who has been blind all his life, but receives sight.

Almost everybody fails the man born blind. Even his family backs away from him, and his parents put their own safety before his welfare. Maybe we can understand an older couple being reluctant to sacrifice their home, work or community for their son, but would we not expect them to celebrate with him, to be joyful over his healing? There is nothing of that in this text. The parents’ fear overwhelms their joy, and they abandon their son to the authorities. The community fails. The religious authorities fail. The family fails. The only trustworthy figures in this story are the man born blind and Jesus. The man tells the truth, and even in the face of threats, he sticks to his guns. Again and again, the man witnesses to the saving grace he has experienced in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one the man can trust, and he is the only one we can trust in this story. Let us focus on what we can actually describe: the difference between before and after. Now our eyes are open and this is what I see and know! These are the types of stories the Church needs to hear. Although the Pharisees lay claim to provisioning of grace, it is Jesus who transforms. It is Jesus who heals. It is Jesus who stands with the man in his final isolation. He stands with us too. Sometimes when the sun is really bright, or when artificial light is intense, we need to squint or shut our eyes. The brightness seems dangerous to us, and the reflex is automatic. But with Jesus it is counterintuitive. When Jesus, the light of the world, is in our midst, we need not shut our eyes. In fact, the best thing to do is to open our eyes, wide. We will not be blinded by the light. We will be saved. How can our lives show forth the light and love of Jesus to others we come across in our lives? Pray for our lives to be the turning point for people to see and come to Jesus.

Fr Jonathan