4th Sunday Lent year A 2020

4th Sunday Lent year A 2020

Our scripture readings for this Sunday focus on the theme of light.  Namely, that Jesus Christ is the light that has come into the world, the light that dispels darkness.  Now that we have officially entered springtime, the light of day will continue to increase for the next several months.  And in this time of worry over the virus and social distancing, we could all use more light in our lives.

But would you believe that not everyone cares for the increase of light.  There are some who prefer darkness that allows one to hide and conceal.  For such, the light is dangerous, because they might see something they wish not to see.

Jesus miracle of healing the man born blind is undeniable.  The man, his parents, his neighbors all attest that he was indeed blind, and the man himself says it was Jesus who healed him.  But the Pharisees cannot accept it.  They wish to remain blind, and they choose to not see what has obviously happened.

Think about when you see something that is either scary or uncomfortable, or something that makes you cringe.  The typical response is the close your eyes or turn away, to remove it from your vision.  Now sometimes what we close our eyes to is ourselves, our own sins and failings.  Other times, because we prefer our sins, we close our eyes to God’s grace and love and healing.

This is what the Pharisees were doing.  Jesus cannot possibly be good, this man born blind doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  Jesus is clearly a sinner, so we’re just going to ignore that he did something only one from God can do.  Besides, if Jesus is good and from God, that means we’re wrong, and that can’t possibly be the case.

These poor men are utterly blind, their sins unnoticed and remaining.  But Jesus wishes to bring us into the light, to take away our sins, to allow us to see clearly the blessings and joys that he wishes to give us.

Jesus is the light, and when we allow the light to illuminate us, we not only see God better, but we see more clearly how God sees us; a special creation made in his image and likeness, so loved by Him that he sent his only begotten Son to restore us and bring us to everlasting life.  We are so loved by God, that he makes us adopted sons and daughters, to share in blessings.  So when we confront and acknowledge our blindness, our sins and failings, uncomfortable as they may be, Jesus restores us.  That is why Jesus says “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains”.

The blind man had no issue in following the commands of Jesus, and his sight was restored.  The Pharisees resists, and they remain in their sins and in darkness.

The blind man had not only his sight given to him, but he was given the gift of faith as well.  He can not only see Jesus, but he is able to acknowledge him as the Christ, and worship him.  How many times did the Pharisees and other enemies of Jesus witness his miracles, only to disregard them because Jesus performed them on the wrong day of the week?  No regard for God’s goodness because they will not admit they are in darkness.  Yet for those who do follow, God washes away our blindness and gives us proper sight. 

You obtain the ability to see God’s goodness, to recognize Jesus as savior, the ability to improve yourselves, the ability to live in genuine love and goodness.  Jesus has the man wash himself in the pool, and he is made clean and given sight.  For us it is through the waters of baptism that we are washed clean and receive the light of Christ in our life, a light that is to be kept burning and shining. 

So rejoice in the fact that God seeks to heal you of your sins, to take you out of the darkness, and into the light.  When Jesus illuminates your life, you are given the opportunity to be cleansed, to worship and to rejoice.  There is no need to hide, no need to be embarrassed.  Especially in this current time of great sacrifice, we must allow ourselves to see and draw close to God more clearly, so that we may remain confident and hopeful…  Rejoice in having the light of faith, give thanks and praise to God for that gift, and do not fear penance and sacrifice, because it will allow us to see God all the more clearly.