Mar 22 2020 Reflection
Sunday 22 March 2020
First Reading: 1 SM 16:1B, 6-7, 10-13A
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
PS 23: 1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
Second Reading: EPH 5:8-14
Gospel Reading: Jn 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38
Today’s Note: Fourth Sunday of Lent
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him, and
the one speaking with you is he.”
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
If you were blind, you would have no sin. (John 9:41)
How’s your eyesight? What do you see when you look at the world around you? That seems to be the issue in today’s Gospel. As the story opens, we meet a man whom everyone assumes is a sinner because he is blind (John 9:2). But by the end of the story, Jesus says that those who claim they can see are really the ones in darkness.
What did these Pharisees claim to see in this man? A sinner—both because he had been blind and because he dared to challenge their authority. And what they saw moved them to berate him and throw him out of the synagogue.
A similar thing happened when they saw Jesus. Because he had performed a healing on the Sabbath, they saw him as another sinner. No one who was righteous would dare break the Law of Moses! Again, what they saw moved them to persecute him all the more.
But what did Jesus see in the blind man? Not a “sinner” to be condemned and expelled, but a child of God in need of healing and salvation. And what he saw moved him to act with mercy.
And what did the blind man see in Jesus? Not a “sinner” who broke the Sabbath, but the Messiah who brings freedom and restoration. And what he saw moved him to bow down in worship.
So let’s ask again: how is your eyesight?
Jesus wants to help us see the world as he does. He wants us to see people not as sinners under God’s judgment but as brothers and sisters who are offered the same mercy we have received. He wants us to withhold our own judgment and show kindness instead. Because that’s how Jesus sees people. It’s how he sees you.
So as you gaze at the crucifix and at the Host at Mass today, let Jesus’ loving gaze pierce your heart. Let him heal your blindness so that you can see the world through his eyes.
“Jesus, open my eyes! Help me to see as you see.”