On this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we meet the man born blind. In doing so, perhaps we meet ourselves!! As with all the miraculous healings of Jesus, there is more to the story than the physical healing. The miracle is played down. The drama of the story focuses not on the miracle itself, but on the response of the healed man’s neighbors, the Pharisees, and his parents. The purpose of this gospel account is a recognition story. Throughout the interrogation of the man born blind, he progressively recognizes Jesus to be: “the man called Jesus,” then, “He is a prophet,” and finally, belief that Jesus is “the son of man.” While most of us can see physically, all of us are spiritually blind at times. And the point of the story…..even with the miraculous healing, the Pharisees were blinded by their pre- occupation that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, a violation of the law. The parents of the man were blinded by their fear of being expelled from the synagogue and thus gave only bare-bones testimony.
Visual sight is a powerful metaphor for our attitudes toward the world around us and the people who come into our lives every day. Although medical technology today has improved the sight of many, our spiritual blindness hasn’t always changed. In today’s first reading, the story of the anointing of David as Israel’s first king, Samuel is ready to anoint one of the handsome and powerful sons of Jesse. He never suspects that God’s anointed would be the youngest, the least, the shepherd boy from the hills. God tells him he’s judging according to human, not divine, standards. Too often we prefer good looks, ce- lebrity, and power over humility, virtue, and care for the common good when we’re choosing our leaders. Our media-driven world has made us far too reliant on the superficial and the sensational.
So, what blinds us from recognizing Jesus in the circumstances, people and trials in our life? Lent is a time for some laser surgery on our sins to correct our vision. When you figure out what it is that blinds you, bring it to confession, and let God through the power of forgiveness, correct your vision so you can see him clearly throughout your life.
A couple of corrections to my previous articles: In listing the names of the members of our new Pastoral Council, I omitted Ric Rodriguez. In congratulating Fr. Mark on the birth of his new nephew, I said the child was the first of his twin sister Lisa and her husband. Actually, Lisa is Fr. Mark’s mother. His twin sister in Jen. Sorry All!
Have a Blessed Lent!