Born Blind

By Sr. Catherine Cleary, OSB

John’s Gospel (Chapter 9) on the 4th Sunday of Lent tells the story of Jesus healing the blind man. The healing causes a lot of problems to those on the sidelines. The Pharisees want to blame Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. The blind man’s parents refuse to answer their questions about the healing, saying “ask him, he is of age.” Even the neighbors do not recognize the blind man.

It seems rather obvious that John has more in mind than Jesus curing the blind man especially when Jesus proclaims, “I am the light of world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” While this chapter has many facets, one of the lessons Jesus seems to be talking about is how many of us with eyesight act as if we are blind.

We do sometimes walk in darkness. We fail to see the goodness in others or the beauty of God’s creation. We miss seeing the loneliness, the fear, the hurt on other’s faces, plunging instead into an inane conversation. Sometimes we bring more darkness than light into their life. We dismiss questions as “stupid, idle queries,” we judge from appearances. We do not see as the Lord does, “looking into the heart.” We fail to engage others in the real, the truth
and the real situation in their lives. We, too, are blind. Darkness enshrouds us and we shrink within.

We have expressions like, “Oh now I see,” and “I must have been blind.” Like the Pharisees, we build a wall of protection, of defense around our “seeing.”

REFLECTION: Let our prayer this week be: “Lord, that I may see.” Is it pride, stubbornness, control, insecurity that prevents me from really “seeing” what the other is saying or doing?

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