jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

March 11, 2018 - "Lord, That I may See"

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Scripture Readings

John is an amazing story teller. This story of the healing of the blind man is very powerfully scripted. John has his purpose in writing the story. He wants the world to come to faith in Jesus Christ. But there is a problem - blindness. His deeper point is what might be harder for us to accept - that the blind person in the story is not just the man born blind. We might say that we get the irony in the story and that the real blind people in the story are the Pharisees who refuse to see Jesus as the Messiah. John is making an even more poignant point - that the real blind person might be you and me.

 There are different kinds of blindnesses that ail us. Lets reflect on three of these: 

1. Spiritual Blindness. There are people across the globe who intentionally do not believe in Jesus. Should we call them blind? I personally think that we have no control over other people’s choices. If I take John seriously, perhaps, the only blindness that I have  control over is the blindness within me. You might say, “I already believe in Christ! How can I be blind?” Perhaps, I can propose these instances of blindness. Jesus teaches us that all the commandments can be summarized under two commandments - love God with everything within you and love your neighbor as yourself. I can love God and yet be blind to my neighbor. Jesus teaches us to love even those who hate us. It is blindness to refuse to see the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching and continue to hate anyway. Hatred blinds us. Jesus teaches us not to judge people. Judgement makes us blind but sometimes we do it anyway. Jesus teaches us to gather treasures in heaven. We can put a life-time of efforts gathering treasures on earth and still think we can see. Jesus teaches us to eschew violence and be peace-makers. Instead we can blindly seek revenge and justify violence. Lent is a time for us to open our eyes to those areas in our lives where we need Christ to help us see. In each area that we do, let us allow Christ to heal our blindness.  

2. Where Am I looking? There is new kind of blindness that is very telling of our time - the blindness that comes from our gadgets. Believe it or not, a new kind of medical emergency is plaguing people. It is called walk-crash. You have heard about car-crashes because people are on the cell-phones. Now there are an increasing number of people coming into  emergency rooms because they walk-crash into walls, electric poles, doors, other people or they fall into ditches or step off sidewalks while texting. Experts tell us that the human brain gets so busy with the active legs and texting fingers that it causes a temporary blindness as the eye lose their peripheral vision. At restaurants, airports, public places and even at homes, it is common to find people buried on their phones. What are we not seeing when we have our heads buried in our gadgets? We become blind to our inner selves. We pray less, we reflect less, we remember less, and know less about ourselves. We become blind to the God within and outside. We become blind to other people’s needs when we bury ourselves in our gadgets. And entire generation is growing up blind. I pray, “Dear Lord, let me not go blind while I stare into my cell phone!” 

3. Blind to the Poor and Disabled. Let us return to the blind man in the gospel. He was a man with a disability. Not only was his disability considered a curse from God, but after his healing, instead of being being happy for him, the Pharisees were upset that he was healed on the Sabbath. First, Jesus refused to attribute his disability to God. Second, Jesus engaged him, talked to him, touched is eyes, shared the gift of faith, and took him closer to salvation. How do we, our society and our church take care people with disabilities? Many times I think we simply do not see them. It is a hard life for people with disabilities and their families. To find employment, to find friends, not to give into despair, to feel valued - these are not easy for a person with disability. But as Jesus says, God does not love a disabled person less. God does not value a disabled person less. In John’s story the blind man only needed physical healing. The people around him needed an even greater healing. It could be the same today. Moreover, it is not only people with disabilities that find themselves cut off from society. The poor, the aged in nursing homes or in our own homes, immigrants and refugees - we can be blind to them and their needs. Dear Jesus, heal our blindness.  

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost, but now I am found.

Was blind but now I see.”  

- Fr. Satish Joseph