Holy Spirit

 ACTA

LECTIONARY COMMENTARY

Fourth Sunday of Lent Year C
Lectionary alternative Gospel
Year of Luke

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READINGS

A reading from the book of Joshua 5:9-12

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 34:2-7. R/. v.9

A reading from the second letter of St Paul
to the Corinthians 5:17-21

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 9:1-41

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There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Blindness can be self-inflicted. Prejudices can invade our minds through parental influence. Bigotry, intolerance, and chauvinism can grip the souls of the unwary and the unwise. Politics, religion, and race can be bred into us and blind us to truth. Hubris, that overbearing pride that knows all the answers, parades as wisdom when, in fact, it is the mother and father of ignorance. Blindness is everywhere in our world, in the great faiths of the world and in the world’s social and economic orders. Human blindness is everywhere in our Bible. It is there as a challenge to God and to godly people.

There are those who blind themselves to God’s truth and think they are not seen:

Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel,
whose deeds are in the dark,
and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
that the thing made should say of its maker,
“He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”.
Isaiah 29:15-16

But, says God through his prophet Isaiah, there will be a day of reckoning:

In that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a book,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
and the poor among mankind shall exult
in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 29:18-19

Those kings and priests appointed as “the shepherds of Israel” (Ezekiel 34:1) shall be dismissed because,

…they are shepherds who have no understanding;
they have all turned to their own way,
each to his own gain, one and all.
Isaiah 56:11

God himself will be the good shepherd:

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
Isaiah 35:5

Opening the eyes of the blind and unstopping the ears of the deaf will be signs that the kingdom is coming, the will of God is being done. Job recalled “the days when God watched over me” (Job 29:2), the days when his life reflected the God he loved:

I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a turban.
I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy.
Job 29:14-16

Even in the days of his testing, when God had “disarmed and humbled me” (Job 30:11), Job was not blind to what God demanded of disciples who served the coming of God’s kingdom.

In Lent the Gospel readings demand that we listen, see, repent, and mend. Our Gospel readings—the Testing of Jesus in the desert, the Transfiguration of humanity on the mountain, the Woman of Samaria at the well, the Blind Man of Jerusalem, the raising of Lazarus of Bethany, the Passion and Death of a Beloved Son—lead us on the path of discipleship. They call us to listen and learn. They offer us the strength of the Holy Spirit to be what we are called to be. We find Jesus there before us, the Light of the world, offering us the candle of the Holy Spirit that we may overcome the darkness of our world and lead humanity into the brightness of God’s love.

Each Lent we are called to order. The command is repeated again and again:

Listen to him!

Today Jesus meets a blind man who listens to him and he is turned into a stubborn, headstrong, wonderful proclaimer of God’s way in what Jesus does. He keeps repeating the glorious and undeniable fact:

I was blind and now I see!

Our listening, our stock-taking (repentance), our praying, our realisation (yet again) of who we are, and what we are for, demand that we become eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, mother and father to the widow and the orphan. The ancient prophets knew what the Lord required:

I am the Lord;
I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Isaiah 42:6-7

God’s eyes are not blind to the ways of humanity and men and women must pray for eyes that see with the eyes of God:

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
for your decrees at all times.
Psalm 119:18-20

A reading from the book of Joshua 5:9-12

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place
is called Gilgal to this day. While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
The word of the Lord.

The people, otherwise known as the complainers who were remainers at heart and wanted to go back to Egypt, were all dead. The Book of Joshua maintains that the wandering around in the desert for forty years was due to God’s canny patience. God waited until the generation of those who were brought up in slavery, and, believing the devil you know is better than the one you don’t, preferred it to the hardships of life in the wilderness, had died. But even the new generation needed a new encouragement that the Lord was with them. This is what the Lord demanded Joshua to do by way of instilling a new heart and a new spirit:

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath- haaraloth. And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
Joshua 5:2-4

In other words, those who longed to return to the fleshpots of Egypt were denied the land of promise, the land flowing with milk and honey. By the way, just in case you are thinking that God has been somewhat cruel to all those adult men who were circumcised, note this, from the Jewish Study Bible translation:

After the circumcising of the whole nation was completed, they remained where they were, in the camp, until they recovered. Joshua 5:8

Our reading today emphasises two points. First, on arriving at the Jordan River, with Jericho in sight, the whole people of God celebrated Passover. The reason for this great prayer of remembrance and thanksgiving is clear from God’s words to Joshua:

“Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
Joshua 5:9

The Lord removed the disgrace of slavery from the people as they came into the land flowing with milk and honey, and for the first time feasted on the fruit of that land of the freed.

The gospel of God proclaims to us today that a blind man receives his sight and immediately becomes a doughty proclaimer of Jesus:

… if this man were not from God … John 9:33

The people of Israel crossing the River Jordan receive a gift of a new home. Hopefully it will be a land of the free if, that is, they live in the land ever mindful of the slavery they endured and who it was who freed them. But there are conditions. As they enter the land flowing with milk and honey they are given a new vocation. They must become,

a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind. Isaiah 42:7

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 34:2-7. R/. v.9

R/. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad. R/.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears. R/.

Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.

R/. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Before praying Psalm 34 together, we need deeply to meditate on its presumptions. The psalm opens with what I must do: I will bless the Lord. Indeed, I will bless the Lord at all times. But soon comes a realisation dawns that to come to God in worship it is good, even necessary, to join with the whole worshipping community:

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:3

The celebration of God’s goodness must be brought into community worship and must be joined with the praise of the Lord that is done by all. For ailments and healings, joys and sorrows, must be in the prayer of the people. In Christian understanding, pain and joy must not be privatised. It must become the pain of the people and the joy of the people. How can the prayer of the poor be heard and relieved if the community at prayer does not hear their need and be reminded to do for them as Jesus did?

A reading from the second letter of St Paul
to the Corinthians 5:17-21

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The word of the Lord.

This is a word from St Paul that defines who Christian people are. As ever he begins with God. There is a new creation. Everyone who is baptised is a new creation because baptism is “in Christ”.

Paul frequently told those who received his letters that they were “in Christ”, “in the Spirit”, and even that Christ or the Spirit is “in them”. Notice the mingling of ideas in this closely argued explanation from Paul’s letter to house-churches in Rome, a letter that finds the great apostle at his most careful:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:7-11

It is worthwhile spending some time considering what Paul is saying here for it is both difficult and enlightening. By “the flesh” he means all that humanity is without God. “Flesh” in this paragraph refers to the human condition of being apart from God. To remedy this exile, God sent his own Son. Thus the Spirit of God entered into the experience of humanity but not the experience of sin. The bonding of Jesus with men and women, accomplished and symbolised by baptism (in Paul’s day by total immersion in water), is expressed in phrases that point to the indwelling of Christ. Paul speaks of this indwelling in a number of phrases that together underline that God participates in us and we in God: “the Spirit of Christ, “the Spirit of God” or simply “the Spirit”. I will quote here instances from just one chapter in Paul’s letter to the Romans that will, I hope, serve to explain what Paul means by these different-but-the-same phrases:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:3-4

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. Romans 6:8

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

… the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:3

Perhaps a sentence from the First Letter of John may help us to realise the wonder of our baptism:

No one has ever looked upon God. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is brought to perfection in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us in that he has given to us of his Spirit.
First Letter of John 4:12-13

It is this unity, this oneness, that we have with God, in Christ, and through the Holy Spirit—and therefore with each other—that makes sense of the frightening sentence offered to us today. To be sure, it a wonder that God-in-Christ has rescued humanity from its sin by coming into us in the Holy Spirit. But there is more than just giving. There is a demand made upon us, a calling that must be answered:

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

And gave us the diakonia, the ministry of reconciliation!

That is the frightening bit.

We are ambassadors of Christ. We must reconcile the world to God. Not only must we cherish the gift of our reconciliation to God. We are thereby commissioned to do as God-in-Jesus does and bless the world with the righteousness of God. All this is intended in the words we find in the end of St Matthew’s Gospel:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:20

We are baptised into the Father, into the Son, and into the Holy Spirit. And the Trinity is present within us into us. That means that our joy in the wonder of our closeness to God and God’s closeness to us, we must realise that a vocation is imposed on us: Go therefore and make disciples. We are, of course, strengthened in the sure and certain promise that comes with every call that comes from God:

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 9:1-41

As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, and wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash. ’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.
The Gospel of the Lord.

True grit. That describes the blind man in this story. But we must realise that the story does not begin with the man born blind. It begins with the man who openly revealed in the great Temple in Jerusalem who he was:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

There is a recurring pattern in John’s Gospel. A matter of
dispute was raised and Jesus explains his God-given understanding of the matter. The discussion is then followed by an event that establishes that the claims that Jesus has made have their origin of God and come from his Father. Thus in chapter 3 he discusses with Nicodemus the importance of truth before God:

But whoever does what is true comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God. John 3:21

In the following chapter he meets a woman who speaks the truth and she discovers who Jesus is and becomes an apostle of what she has come to know. As we shall see, in chapter 10 Jesus discusses eternal life. In chapter 11 he raises Lazarus from death, a sign of the destiny of humanity.

So it is important to read chapter 8 in order to understand what is going on in chapter 9. In a very angry chapter, where the exchanges are bitter, notice that chapter 8 ends with the same revelation made to the woman at the well:

Amen, Amen, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.
John 8:58

At this word of Jesus “the Jews”,

picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the Temple. John 8:59

Blind from Birth …

Chapter 9 begins with an abrupt “And”, joining what follows with what has gone before in the previous chapter. So chapter 9 is really the final word of Jesus to the insulting words (some of them belonging to Jesus) that make chapter 8, one to be read with a heavy heart. As Jesus made his way he saw a man blind from birth. It is worth noticing that it is Jesus who “saw” the man, for “seeing” and “not seeing” is what the chapter is about. It is his disciples who are concerned to determine what caused the man’s blindness. They assumed that the man was afflicted because of sin. Was it the man’s sins or those of his parents that caused God to bring the child into the world with sightless eyes? Our minds might stretch to letting God punish an adult given to sin. But a child, a newborn baby?

The Old Testament Book of Job is a very fitting read in Lent. In this imaginary drama the holy and wise man Job is afflicted by an angel of God. With God’s permission his life is shattered by the loss of his property and his family; he is afflicted with sores and ends up, as the saying goes, sitting on a dunghill. This was his reply to the misery God had imposed upon him:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Job 1:20-22

Ever since readers have asked the same question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

There are those who would rush to the Bible, those misguided people who think the Bible offers answers to every human dilemma. There they will turn, with malicious triumph, to the Book of Exodus:

I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

But Jesus constantly healed those afflicted with illnesses of every kind and waged a war against Satan who, in the belief of his contemporaries, caused human suffering. Jesus even healed on the Sabbath Day, not only to end human misery but to let everyone know that God does not have a day off.

In chapter 9 of John, Jesus does not explain the cause of the man’s blindness. Rather he denies that the blindness was caused by the man’s or his parents’ sins. What Jesus claims is that there was a divine purpose that brought him to meet with this man in the precincts of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jewish understanding of God’s power made it impossible to imagine that anything can be outside God’s control. Therefore, whatever happens can be adopted by God and used for God’s purposes. The plight of the blind man can serve God’s purposes. Jesus is in the world to work the works of God, the works “of him who sent me”.

Works of God

Everyone knows that Jesus performed miracles. But the Greek word that is used almost everywhere in the New Testament to describe what Jesus did is dunamis, meaning “a work of power”. The Greek word is the word we know as dynamite, which is very powerful stuff. The word dunamis is used throughout in the letters of Paul, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Letter to Hebrew Christians. But not in John’s Gospel.

The account of the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee concluded with this sentence:

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 2:11

There are three things to notice. First, the changing of water into wine is called a sign, not a miracle. The Greek word is sēmeion (sign), one of the most important words in John’s Gospel. The word means a signal, a pointer, an indicator. A mark on a soldier’s shield to identify which side he was on was a sēmeion. A sign in the Bible does not necessarily indicate a miracle. For example,

Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. Isaiah 8:18

Isaiah and his children were a sign of God’s future. His predictions that the Assyrians would come down like a wolf on the fold were eventually fulfilled. Signs in the writings of the prophets were not always miraculous but they did indicate God’s will and reveal God’s glory. They are the prophetical words that indicate that the future belongs to God and that God’s will must be done. It is in this sense that throughout the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, opponents of Jesus seek from him a sign, some kind of spectacular event to verify that what Jesus does comes from God. This Jesus always refuses to do.

However in John’s Gospel signs, whether a miraculous event of not, are indications of the present reality of Jesus and his ministry. For John the signs are the work of God in the present, in the here-and-now. The signs indicate what God is doing in this world now. Jesus himself is the sign of God’s presence, now and in the future. Or, to put it another way, all the work that Jesus does is the work of God. The Presence of God in Jesus is not a promise of realty to come. It is a Presence now, the very Presence that will welcome all humanity into the future. The call that Jesus makes upon those who come to faith in him, is to proclaim that Presence in the world and to assure human beings that they are safe in God’s hands. That is the work that those who follow him are commissioned to do: We must work the works of him who sent us as long as we are in the world.

Consider what Jesus says to his disciples by way of a reply to their question about whose sin caused the infant to be blind. Jesus says:

It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:3-5

God does not cause the hurts of this world. But in giving Jesus to our world God offers the world a healing remedy for its ills. Not only that, but God through Jesus creates a community of healers who must confront the pain of humanity with love, gentleness, and, above all, understanding. Notice the plural: we. The nature of the Church and of all the tiny churches that make up the Church must be nothing other than compassionate. When he had washed the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains what he has done:

For I have given to you an example in order that, as I have done to you, you may do also. Amen, Amen, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor one who is sent greater than the one who sends him.
John 13: 15-16 (my translation)

There is no better description of what the Church is than that to be found in the prayer that Jesus prays to his Father for those whose feet he has washed:

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. John 17:16-19

The truth of what the followers of Jesus must be is to be found in the story of that man born blind. The beggar man is enlightened by the mercy of God-in-Jesus. He receives his sight as a sign of his enlightenment. He is empowered to come to the truth about Jesus, to confirm the words of Jesus:

As long as I am in the world,
I am the light of the world. John 9:5

The Healing

The account of the healing is masterly in its simplicity. Having announced that his mission to humanity is to be a light in the world’s darkness, Jesus gives light to the eyes of the man born blind:

Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and he washed and came back seeing. John 9:6-7

The Beggar’s Tale

Starting with the neighbours, we learn the fate to which the man was reduced, begging at the city’s gates. When he came to his neighbours, they refused to believe. Disbelieving neighbours all round, of course. But he insisted: I am the man. He repeats what the unknown Jesus told him to do and that he obeyed: I went and I washed and I saw.

The story at this point turns into an unravelling of the identity of the man who found the blind man at the gate. The people ask where the healer is but the man has to admit: I do not know. The rest of the story is about undoing this new blindness.

The Big Fact is this: I was blind and now I see.
The Big Question is: How do you explain this?

From Blindness to Light

The neighbours: Where is this man?
The man: I don’t know.

Some Pharisees: This man is not from God.
Other Pharisees: How can a sinner do such things?
The man: He is a prophet.

The Jews: Is this your son?
His parents: Ask him. He’s of age.

The Jews: This man is a sinner.
The Man: If this man were not from God …

Jesus: Do you believe in the Son of Man?
The Man: Who is he, that I may believe?

Jesus: You have seen him,
and it is he who is speaking to you
The Man: Lord, I believe …

AND HE WORSHIPPED HIM.

The man born blind has been given sight and insight. He has come to that faith in the one who has become his Lord. He has come from being a blind beggar to Christian faith that pours out in worship.

The story is a mirror image of that of the woman at the well. Careful inquiry, honest and diligent questioning, these are not the enemies of faith. These are the solid ground on which faith is founded. The man born blind is our model. Jesus finds us. By listening to his word, we learn how the world can be transformed into God’s likeness. We become proclaimers of what has happened and is happening to us. Enlightened, we teach the world to see.

Joseph O’Hanlon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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