Reflections on Sunday Readings    

People Have Lost Their
Sense of Sin

Reflections by
Fr. Stephen, OMI

My dear Parishioners, we are in the 4th Sunday of Lent which is also known as "Laetare Sunday". On this Sunday, we move from Jacob's well in Samaria, where Jesus gave us "living water," to the temple area of Jerusalem where Jesus gives us "spiritual sight." Last Sunday Saint John narrated the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman; this Sunday he recalls the encounter between Jesus and the man blind from birth. Does this encounter carry a personal message to us as well?

In the Bible generally and in Saint John particularly, "sight" is used as a metaphor for spiritual vision or faith. Therefore, the man born blind can be anyone of us who is born in the state of Original Sin, but—in spite of the Sacraments offered to us by the Church for our spiritual redemption
continues to remain blind and live in a state of sin.

The miracle which Jesus performed on the man born blind was not only that He restored his physical sight but also gave him "spiritual sight." Then the blind man recognized the true cause for his physical blindness and also became aware of what his actual blindness was. It was then that he recognized Jesus and started believing in Him. By telling us about the reactions of the Pharisees to Jesus and this blind man, Saint John tells us who the real blind people are.

In the first reading, the Book of Samuel shows us how stupid we humans are when looking at people and judging them, compared to how God looks at them. God looked not at the external appearance of David but his heart; and wanted Samuel to anoint him as the King of Israel. My dear friends, this is exactly the same way in which God looks at you and me to judge our suitability to enter His kingdom. In the same way, God wants us also to have a clear vision of others before judging them. But if we are spiritually blind, then how can we have a clear vision?

Before I can have a clear vision of others, I must ask the important question: do I have a clear vision of my own self? Am I blind to my own sins? I might quickly recognize and notice the SIN in others, but do I also see the SIN in my own life? Am I aware that the SINS I condemn in others are visible in me as well? Have I lost the sense of SIN in my own life?

My dear friends, this is the "spiritual blindness" which Jesus cured in the man born blind in today's Gospel. It was after receiving the "spiritual vision" that he recognized Jesus. This is exactly what Jesus is inviting you and me to think about during this season of Lent. And, most importantly, we must NOT be blind to our own sins.

Last Update: March 18, 2023