This Sunday we reflect on the 2nd scrutiny – The Man Born Blind. I believe this is my favorite of the three scrutinies because it so exemplifies the progression of faith that I experienced personally and which I suspect everyone has undergone. When you read the story of the man born blind you can’t help but hear snatches of verse such as “…I once was blind but now I see…” “…open the eyes of my heart Lord…”. I was blind…I did not know about the Lord at all. I didn’t know what “Lord” meant. I didn’t know who he was, or what he could do for me. As I learned about the man called Jesus I saw what a remarkable, loving and peaceful person he was and that he taught many great, yet simple, truths for life that, if people listened to him, could change the world into a utopia. I later came to understand that he was the Son of God and what that means: God, made man; God AND man in one being; fully God, and fully man and that he is the Lamb of God, my Lord and my Savior.
Think about your own spiritual growth over your life and see if you can see yourself in the man who was born blind in this Sundays Gospel reading. Sometimes we are blind because we lack knowledge and sometimes we are blind because we have closed our eyes. I was born blind by which I mean I lacked knowledge of our Lord Jesus; later in my life I sometimes closed my eyes. Today, having gone through my own progression of faith my eyes are fully open and I can see!
Our first reading in the Children’s Liturgy guide this Sunday is from Ephesians 5:8-14 and is a letter from Paul to the Christians living in Ephesus. I highly recommend you read and reflect on this reading together with the Gospel account of the man who was born blind because the two readings are powerful catalysts for reformation! Our Elect are on the final leg of their conversion journey. This week’s readings are extremely helpful reflections that assist the Elect in purging the darkness from within themselves and replacing it with light and urges them physically into the light and out of the darkness to live as children of the light! We are not just bystanders to their conversion, we are participants! We, too, will renew our baptismal promises and we, too, purge ourselves of darkness and fill ourselves with light during Lent! We are all on the journey to Easter Sunday together! We are all anticipating the dying and rising of Christ Jesus and in that act of rising again we have the promise of our rising again to new life with Christ Jesus! Msgr. Kidder said something today that was very much a part of this train of thought: Our new and eternal life with Christ Jesus doesn't begin after we die our earthly death, it begins the moment we are baptized.
This is a reading from Paul’s letter to the Christians living in Ephesus:
Eph 5:8-14 NAB
Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
A reading from the Gospel according to John:
The Man Born Blind
Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 NAB
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him, and
the one speaking with you is he.”
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
This week’s Psalm is Psalm 23: I Shall Not Want