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Thursday, 16 March 2023 12:09

Journey into the light

As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Having said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away able to see.

His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’ So they said to him, ‘Then how do your eyes come to be open?’ ‘The man called Jesus’ he answered ‘made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, “Go and wash at Siloam”; so I went, and when I washed I could see.’ They asked, ‘Where is he?’ ‘I don’t know’ he answered.

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when
the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man.

‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.

(John 9:1-41) (Short Form)

Reflection - Journey into the light

In this Sunday’s Gospel we accompany the man who was born blind on his journey into the light. The first thing we read in the full version of this Gospel is that Jesus announces that the man is sinless – he has been born blind so that God’s glory can be seen at work in him. Then Jesus gives the blind man sight. Notice that the man didn’t ask to be healed – this is Jesus’ initiative, taking the first step and reaching out in love. That’s how Jesus approaches us, too.

When the man returns home there is no rejoicing or welcome from his neighbours and friends. Instead, he is greeted with many questions and much suspicion. They seem blind to what has happened to the man. These same neighbours and friends march the man off to the religious authorities to see what they make of the situation. But they, too, greet the man with many questions and great suspicion and finally drive him away. They, too, are blind to the work of God both in the man and in Jesus who cured him.

Jesus seeks the man out and asks if he believes. The man asks in whom he should believe. Jesus answers, ‘in me’. The man, who now sees clearly who Jesus is, believes and worships.

The man’s whole world has been totally transformed from total darkness into light through the loving action of Jesus. Bit by bit throughout the reading the man has gradually come to realise who Jesus is. At first Jesus is simply ‘a man’, then ‘a prophet’, then ‘Son of Man’ and finally, ‘Lord’.

We, too, can be blind to the many ways God is present in our lives and in those around us. It can take some time on our journey of faith to realise just who Jesus is and to allow our lives to be filled with Light.

The candles we use in our churches remind us of the vitality and life of Christ which has been entrusted to us. With our minds lit and our hearts warmed by the Spirit of Christ we, too, develop true insight and as God’s heart begins to beat within our own, we become light and warmth for each other.

May the light of Christ burn strongly within us!

You can download and rint our prayers and readings for this Sunday here.

pdf Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday in Lent [PDF] (1017 KB)
default Celebrating At Home 4th Sunday in Lent [ePub] (3.56 MB)


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