Browsing Homilies

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)

1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a | Ps 23 | Eph 5:8-14 | Jn 9:1-41

In this second of three lengthy gospel passages, Jesus saw more than the surface in the man born blind. He sees both a person and an opportunity to make the works of God visible through him. Ordinary clay, saliva, and washing heal the man’s physical blindness. His openness frees him to do as Jesus asked, and so he gains physical sight.

As the story unfolds, the man born blind also gains insight into who Jesus is: naming him first, “the man called Jesus,” then as a “prophet,” and finally, when Jesus finds him again, he professes belief in him as the “Son of Man” and “Lord.”

He also gains the courage to speak truth to the Pharisees, blinded by seeing only what they wanted to see. By their refusal to look into the heart and really see Jesus and the healed blind man, they choose sin. To sin, one must know that something is wrong and then freely choose it in the end.

Our union with Christ gives us light to distinguish truth from what is false, right from wrong, light from darkness. The light of Christ, presented to us in the form of a lit candle on the day of our baptism, helps us see beyond mere appearance and preconceptions into the heart. Are we willing to see as God sees? Or does fear of rejection or change keep us blind. When we look into the heart, we’re capable of seeing others and ourselves as God does—people of light and darkness, whose darkness, when named, can be healed. May we all turn to the light and ask the Divine Physician to open our eyes!


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