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, butin spite of the Sacraments offered to
us by the Church for our spiritual redemptioncontinues
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.