Man Born Blind

Blog Reflection for Sunday, March 19, 2023

Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, OP

This Sunday’s readings are about light and darkness.

In the first Book of Samuel the key phrase of the Lord is, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.”  God chose David to be anointed, a mere youth.

And in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are told that we were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord.  We are called to live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.

And in the verse before the Gospel “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus passed by and saw a man blind from birth.  And the proverbial question comes up:  who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus says neither, but that it is so the works of God might be made visible through him.  Jesus said he had to do the Father’s work while it is still day (while he is still on earth).   “Night is coming when no one can work.” (night can be understood as referencing the end of the world.)  It means that we as Christians should strive to spread the Kingdom of God.

After spitting on the ground and mixing clay with his saliva, he said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent—.  So, he went and washed, and came back able to see.

This miracle performed on a sabbath caused the blind Pharisees to get riled up into a fire storm.  They questioned the blind man as to how he could see now and he told them about being “Sent”.  They threw him out and when Jesus heard this, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I man believe in him?”  Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking to you is he.”  He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and worshiped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Without Jesus all creation is in darkness, not understanding itself, it does not know where it is going. “Only in the mystery of the Incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light…. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful; apart from his Gospel they overwhelm us” (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 22).

When I lived in Fort Collins and worked at the university, there was a professor of music who was a blind man.  A woman who sang in our church told me that he was her neighbor.  He totally rebuilt a car engine in her garage.  He jokingly told her she should turn on the garage light so that neighbors didn’t think he was breaking in.

My husband, Sterling, knew a blind man with a very small farm with a few sheep and a cow who managed to feed and care for them.  He ran a rope along the fence and used that to find his way.

The blind learn to listen well (and so should we); that’s why some of them are very good at tuning pianos.

The blind man in the Gospel is such an example of faith for us! Do you behave like this when God commands, when so often you cannot see, when your soul is worried and the light is gone? The man believed; he acted upon the command of God, and he returned with eyes full of light. What a simple, strong faith!

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