Pondering for Sunday, March 19, 2023

Eucharistic Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent: Year A

1st Samuel 16:1-13Psalm 23Ephesians 5:8-14John 9:1-41:

“But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” (John 9:10 – 11)

Each line of the above Gospel reading can be the basis of a homily. The healed man said, “The man called Jesus, (through whom all things were made) made mud, put it on my eyes (used God’s earth to cure those made of God’s earth) and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash (Go and be baptized), therefor, he had a responsibility to co-create with God. The message is, we must obey God in receiving God’s blessing. He said, “I washed and received my sight (I obeyed and was able to receive my sight”; – sight I never had before, ever!  And because of our Lord Jesus, we now see as we have never seen before.

Often those who refuse to see and understand what they witness right before them, are hard-hearted in their stubbornness.  You and I can’t fix hard-hearted stubbornness. Many people of our modern world will not let themselves have real sight today.  They want to hear your story over and over again in order to find, or create, so-called reasons for your joy, while not excepting it for themselves. We can’t fix them. We can only acknowledge what God in Christ Jesus is doing.

The man said,  “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.” In a way, I was born blind. I was taught from my childhood to see the world in a certain way, through race, upper and lower class, and all without regular church attendance. I was blind as far as what God was showing me, save my time at Catholic School.

 Continuing with the Gospel, “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  This man given his sight (for the first time) told them off.  But they rebutted with insecurity: “They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.”  Frankly, I would rather be driven out than to stay among unbelievers.

The Incarnate Word through whom all things were made, made medicine, applied it to the eyes, ordered the man to go and rinse with water as in baptism, requiring his participation in healing. Our Lord Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Yes, there are many little homilies in this passage. But all are very important lessons.  We too must believe, ask, accept, obey with our own participation and receive joy.  Thank You Lord Jesus.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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