miércoles, 2 de abril de 2014

Seeing with the Eyes of Faith

Picture credit: www.ohsjd.org
4th Sunday of Lent
March 30, 2-014
Jn 9:1-41

During the time of Jesus, the Jews considered sickness or disabilities, such as blindness, as a punishment from God because of the sins of either the parents or the infirm himself. They were marginalized because people were afraid to be contaminated by their uncleanliness. They believed that touching something or someone impure will render them impure as well. Jesus, going against the social and religious norms of that time, offered a new and liberating view, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him…” (Jn. 9:3). This line not only liberates people from their blinding (pun intended) beliefs. It also introduces the people around him to what he was about to do, so that they may see the underlying current by which Jesus does his mission. For indeed, in all that he does, he intends to open the eyes of the people to the reality that God is a merciful God.

To those who witnessed and, later, to those who heard the story proclaimed while seeing the fruits of faith in those who proclaim, the object of Jesus’ merciful act is the blind man. Jesus’ act, however, is rarely just for the benefit of those who are healed. In a very symbolic move of forming a clay with his hands, reminiscent of the second creation story in Genesis (cf. Gen 2:7), he smeared the clay on the eyes of the blind man and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. Where the God created human beings and all creation with his “hands,” Jesus the Incarnate God now continues the act of creation with his own hands as well by bringing not only physical but also spiritual sight to the blind. Where God gave life to a formless void, Jesus gives new life to all who struggling with some kind of blindness of heart, mind and spirit.

The blind man gains his sight after heeding Jesus’ instruction to go and wash at the Pool of Siloam. He was sent and he obeyed, then he received his sense of sight. He did not even ask for it! But in following Jesus’ words the seed of faith was planted in him and nourished by his witnessing before an adversarial party. Interrogated by the Pharisees for the first time, he professed that Jesus is a prophet. The second time, he proclaimed without fear that he is a disciple of Jesus. And when Jesus found him again, he was led into confession of faith in Jesus as Lord by the words that was proclaimed to him. He ended up worshipping Jesus Christ. Thus, the man who was blind showed what it is to truly SEE by relating to Jesus as he is – the Son of God!

- based on the reflection of Ryan Recto


Lord Jesus, you have called us to a life of faith at our baptism. Grant us the grace to persevere in our journey of faith. Help us see with our hearts wholly open to you. Amen.

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