March 27 – Fourth Week of Lent
As a parish family, during Lent we support and pray for those who are to be baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. As I explained in my article last Sunday, on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sunday’s of Lent they participate in a liturgical rite called the Scrutinites. We celebrate these rites at the 10:00am Mass and use the A cycle readings. If you are not at the 10:00am Mass, you hear the readings of the cycle we are currently in, which is the C cycle. To support our Elect in their final preparation to receive the Easter Sacraments, I share with you a few reflections about the A cycle readings for the 10:00am Scrutiny Mass. In the story of the man born blind, we see a number of people reacting negatively to a miracle of healing. Today many people have laser eye surgery to correct vision and reverse conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. It’s become quite commonplace, but we rarely regard these medical advances as miracles. 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 our medical technology is far advanced from the time of Jesus, our spiritual blindness hasn’t always changed.
In the Gospel, few people recognize the healing that’s at the center of the story. Jesus heals because life and healing are in his very nature. The man who is healed moves from physical to spiritual sight. But nearly everyone else misses the point. The disciples are puzzling over the sin that must be at the heart of the man’s blindness. The religious leaders see only a threat to their power and status quo. Even the man’s parents prefer to disown their son rather than risk trouble with the authorities. We might wonder why no one sees what Jesus is doing. But our own reactions to the wonders of God’s world can be similarly obscured. Our faith calls us to learn to see the wholeness that God sees. We can get so caught up in our own priorities, our anxieties, and our various ideologies that we miss the wonder of the word around us. Spend today consciously look for signs of God’s love and mercy in the people you meet, in the natural world, and, yes, even in the daily news. Goodness is there if we open our eyes to it.
I would like to extend my appreciation to all of you for your prayers for my health and a special thanks to all who have sent cards and prayer enrollments. The love, care, and support I feel from my OLM parish family strengthens me. On March 3rd I had a whole body bone scan and the results showed no cancer in my bones. Thank God! At present, my oncologist feels it is not necessary to start treatment. I next meet with the oncologist on June 23rd after at CT Scan on June 20th to compare to the previous CT I had in January. The results of that visit may or may not require the start of treatment. I will eventually have immunotherapy to treat the kidney cancer that spread to my lungs. Your continued prayers are appreciated!
Have a Blessed Lent!