Fourth Sunday of Lent: John 9:1-41

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“How were your eyes opened?” Drawing: Ronald Raab, CSC

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Dear Followers of the Light,

Lent is a renewal of our journey toward the Light of Christ. The Resurrection reveals our hope and our journey toward God. At the Easter Vigil we will ignite a new fire and carry the new Paschal Candle into a dark church. Lent opens our eyes and the desires of our soul to find our true path in Jesus Christ.

Today’s second reading from Ephesians (5:8-14) states, “You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness…” We are very aware of the darkness we carry in our hearts in these Lenten days. We carry doubt and despair, anger and rage, hatred and violence. We stumble in the darkness of our addictions, our lashing out and blaming others for our problems, and even watching our children make unfortunate decisions. The Light of Christ brings us into the hope of living a life that is kind and merciful. The Light of Christ leads us onto a path of love.

Today’s gospel (John 9:1-41) is the second conversion story in the Scrutinies for our Elect who are preparing for the Easter sacraments. This story of a man born blind opens our own lives up to the promises Jesus is making for us as well. There are many aspects to our blindness. This healing story is a metaphor for our own spiritual blindness. We may be blind to the gifts of our grandchildren or to our own depression. Our blindness keeps us from seeing the effects of alcohol in our family or the ways hopelessness gets pasted down from generation to generation. Blindness causes us to stay locked in our attitudes about gun violence or the role of drugs in our cities. Blindness paralyzes us when we need to make decisions about what is best for our families or when we just cannot comprehend the impact of our negative actions on our relationships. Blindness is a spiritual tool in which we need Jesus to offer his healing touch not just on our eyes, but also within our hearts.

Here are some lessons to learn from the blind man this week:

The blind man’s eyes were open and he saw Jesus. How are you longing to see the person of Jesus restore your own life of faith? What are you asking for Jesus to do for you in this Lenten season? How can you find your way through the darkness of doubt, stubbornness and anger to find the healing touch of Christ Jesus?

The blind man testified to others that Jesus healed him. How can you testify to others in your family, neighborhood or in our parish to what Jesus is doing in your life? How can you learn to see Jesus with not only your vision, but with new insight in your heart? How can you testify to others that Jesus is the true light for your life, the forgiveness that you hope for? How does this story relate to the Light given to you in your baptism?

Blessings in the Light of Christ,

Fr. Ron

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