FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT: John 9:1-41
The images of light and darkness show up in all of today’s readings. The story of the blind man in the gospel challenges us to move from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. Saint Paul reminds us that we were once darkness, but now because of our baptism, we are light in the Lord. We are challenged to be children of light, for the effects of the light we are able to be seen in goodness, in right living, and in truth!
Someone once asked Helen Keller, who had been blind and deaf since the age of nineteen months, if blindness was the worst thing that could happen to a person. She answered that – the worst thing was not to lose one’s external sight but to lose one’s inner vision. Helen Keller was able to lead a very beautiful life by helping others; in spite of her limitations and great obstacles; she had a sense of purpose and vision in life.
What a privilege for the blind man, to have met Jesus and have Jesus touch his eyes and bring him sight. Like this blind man, we have to meet Jesus and need to allow Jesus to touch and heal our spiritual blindness. We all have our own blindness, the “blind-spots” – in our personalities. Once we have these “blind-spots” in our lives, we are not able to see goodness and blessings in others. Instead of living in these “blind spots” of darkness and sinfulness, we have to allow Jesus to enter into our lives and to remove from us the root causes of our “blind spots,” which are our selfishness, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, and bad habits.
Let me share with you a story: There was a blind girl. She had a loving friend, who was always ready to help her. She hated herself and everyone around her, just because she was blind. One day, her friend asked her, “Do you want to marry me?” But she replied, “Only when I can see the world, I will marry you.” Their life was going on well and her friend was helping her always, and he loved her more than anyone else, and he was not looking at her physical blindness, and he was looking at her heart.
One day, someone donated 2 eyes and after a long operation, she could see everything, including her loving friend. With excitement and joy, her boyfriend asked her, “Now you can see the world, do you want to marry me now?” She looked at him for the first time, seeing that he was blind too. She refused to marry him… With his broken heart and pain, he walked away and sometime later, he wrote this short note to his beloved girlfriend: “Just take care of my eyes, dear, and now I am so happy that you can see the world.”
The moral message of the story is very clear: This is how the human brain changes when the status changes. Only a few remember what life was like before, and who has always been there, even in the most painful situations. Life is a gift from God– Live it and enjoy it, celebrate it, and Fulfill it every day!
Today, before we have to think of saying an unkind word to someone–think of someone who cannot speak! Before we complain about the taste of our food – think of someone who has nothing to eat and starving for food! Before we have to think of pointing the finger or condemning another person– remember that am I am not worthy of condom the other person! “Count your Blessings, Not your Problems!”
The other thing we can notice in the gospel is that Jesus tells the blind man to: “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Even though he was physically healed, he was not completely spiritually healed. Jesus could have healed him without having asked him to, “Go and wash in the pool.” Jesus challenged him to go to the pool and wash off his selfishness, pride, and all his sinfulness. Jesus expects our efforts and sacrifices. The blind man was willing to listen to Jesus and took the challenge to go to the pool; he washed his sins and was able to see!
We all need our spiritual healings and we have to approach Jesus and be ready to listen to what Jesus asks us to do — to go to the pools of our families, friends, and communities. When we experience love, compassion, and forgiveness, from then on, we are healed. This is a challenge! Let us ask ourselves: “When we are physically, spiritually, and emotionally down, in which pool do we go?”