for Sunday, March 26, 2017
"One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." – the official people of religion are trying to convince the formerly blind man that Jesus is a fake. The formerly blind man holds on the one thing: I was blind and now I see!
For us today, the question really is this: "Has Jesus changed my life at all?" If Jesus has not touched my life, then it is difficult to cling to Jesus. But if Jesus has touched me in some way, then it is not so difficult to cling to Him, no matter what others tell us.
The first reading today is about the choice of David to be the King of Israel. David is not the eldest son, and yet he is chosen. David is not particularly outstanding - even though he is presented as handsome and tall - yet he is chosen. The teaching of this reading from the Book of Samuel - and it is common teaching in the Old Testament - is that God chooses freely and does not choose according to our ways of choosing. So often in the Old Testament, a younger son is chosen. So often in the Old Testament, the unexpected person is chosen. Sometimes even the "less good" of two persons seems to be chosen. God chooses and we are not always able to see why God chooses.
Why have I been chosen to follow the Lord? Has the Lord done anything for me? Do I give anything to the Lord?
The second reading is from the Letter to the Ephesians. Here we are told: "Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord." When we hear this kind of advice, we should not think that somehow God is calling us to follow a "mysterious" rule book of what makes God happy! The only thing that is pleasing to the Lord is to seek Him personally with our heart, mind and soul. God wants us and that which pleases God is when we seek Him and try to be present to Him every day.
The Gospel today is from Saint John: the story of the man blind from birth who is given sight by Jesus. The challenge, as so often in the Gospel of John, is that Jesus performs healings on the Sabbath, the day on which no one is supposed to work. First of all, people think that someone bling from birth had to be involved in sin, either the parents or the person himself. Jesus is clear that this is not the case. Then the Pharisees enter into the picture and get upset with Jesus for this healing on the Sabbath. No one wants to cross the religious authorities!
The focal point of the Gospel, however, is when Jesus says to the formerly blind man: "You have seen the Son of Man, the one speaking with you is he." This is the same point from last Sunday when Jesus told the woman at the well: "I am the Messiah, the one speaking to you."
At some point, each of us must come to believe that Jesus is the Lord, Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus is the Son of Man. Only then will we see that, like David, we are chosen. Only then can we see what is really pleasing to God. And only then will we see.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 16.1b, 6-7, 10-13
Second Reading: Ephesians 5.8-14
Gospel: John 9.1-41
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: