Fourth Sunday of Lent – Cycle A
Reflecting on John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38
It’s the last line of today’s Gospel that’s the real zinger. Jesus, you’re not suggesting that we are the ones who are blind, are you? Because we know how God has set up the world. Good things happen to good people, and bad people are blind from birth. Okay, maybe this guy isn’t directly responsible for his blindness, but his parents must have been sinners, right? And we know for sure that YOU are a sinner because you brazenly heal on the Sabbath!
Isn’t their response a little similar to ours when we hear about something terrible that has happened to someone we know? Yes, it’s terrible that she has lung cancer, but she probably smoked, and I don’t smoke, so I’ll never get lung cancer. Yes, it’s horrible about the car accident, but I’ll bet he wasn’t wearing his seat belt, and I always wear my seat belt, so I’ll never be in a car accident.
There is something in us that needs to find a reason why bad things happen to very good people, because it’s too terrifying to admit that they could happen to us too. And if we can admit that, perhaps we are also ready to acknowledge that God can shake us from our cynicism, peel away our layers of bravado, and actually heal us too. It’s not a trick. It’s not a plot hatched years ago to make us think the man was blind when he really could see all this time. His parents weren’t in on it, and he wasn’t in on it. That man they call Jesus touched him, and now he can see.
And if we can’t believe that, we are more blind than the man who was born blind and now sees.
In what ways have you felt the healing touch of Jesus in your life?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
We are often blinded by the light of our own supposed enlightenment. Our education, our sense of self-worth, our jobs and our sense of entitlement blind us to the fact that we are not self-sufficient, are not saved by our own devices, are not so strong that we don’t need to kneel in worship to something greater than ourselves. Only the light of Christ and the grace of God can pierce both the darkness of the world and the overwhelming light of our own egos.
There are physical eyes that see objects, like tables and chairs; there are eyes of the mind that understand explanation, such as where thee is smoke, there’s fire ; then there are the eyes of the heart that gradually learn to see only after being formed in the school of compassion.
There have been times in my life when I was “blind,” where I had gotten myself into a mindset of anger at some situation, and was unwilling to put it in the past.
Looking back, it was those times when Jesus felt the closest. Close, looking at me, asking me to change my heart and view, and holding me close, assuring me that I am loved.
Our parish recently hosted the Franciscan Mystery Players who performed a meditation called Jesus the Healer. It was a heart moving experience and I cried almost the entire time. (Kathy, you know how that can happen.) The sanctuary became the stage, set in a semi-darkness, lights focusing on the actors. There was a narrator and voices for Jesus and the various characters. Because their faces were often hidden and their bodies told so much, it was important to watch the physical gestures of the actors. It could be anyone. It could be me! Jesus hung on the cross remembering his life encounters with those who were wounded and sick and “asleep.” He healed each of them in their most needed places, deep in their souls. And then there was the embrace. Person after person clung to Him whose arms were wrapped around the individual. They weren’t quick hugs but the kind that manifests a longing and a connection, the kind that says, “I have found home.” My eyes were opened, my heart was warmed, my soul was held. A great wound within me was being touched by an incomparable Mercy, Love and Compassion. There was nothing about me that God did not love. I saw anew who this God is in my life. Once again, blindness is removed
I woke up this morning on what would have been my second son’s 39th birthday. I went to the Mass at our parish, which I had scheduled for him. I thanked God for the great gift He gave me 39 years ago and prayed for the repose of my son’s soul and his happiness in heaven.
God healed any bitterness I might feel because of the deaths of both of my sons, my only children, by showing me what great gifts they were to me and how fortunate I was to be their mother. Now, I’m not saying that I’m never sad or that I don’t miss them every day — I do — but the grace God has given me to be happy that I had them both in my life (even for too short a time) is a great healing that helps me deal with the losses in a positive way.
I have felt the healing touch of Jesus in my life when I finally let go of the pain and bitterness that I felt after a failed marriage. When I was able to forgive, then my own heart healed. Only when I was able to let go of my misery, did I feel the gentle touch of Jesus who was walking with me all the time.
Brebis, thank you for sharing your story, it touched my heart!
Also as Bobbie mentioned, if anyone has the chance to see the Franciscan Mystery players, what a beautiful meditation!
Thank you for sharing your story. I downloaded it to share your courage with my wife.
God bless you.