Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A
22 March 2020
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jn. 9:5
As Jesus Christ is the “Light of the World”, all who do not follow him walk in darkness. This darkness is sin and error and leads to one’s lack of belief. Today’s readings, especially the Gospel (John 9:1-41) tells us that only God judges the human heart truly.
The Pharisees in today’s gospel are a perfect example of those whose minds have been darkened because they would not acknowledge the power of God who alone can restore sight to the blind. They refused to believe the” “man born blind” who told them that it was Jesus who restored his sight; therefore, their minds were darkened and they did not believe in Jesus, “the Light of the World.” The “man born blind” whose sight was restored believed that Jesus was a prophet: “He is a prophet.” Jn. 9:17 The Pharisees, on the other hand, are stuck in their blindness because they refused to see the truth which is plain to all who witnessed the cure of the “man born blind.” Jesus says to them. and all today, who do not believe in Him: “For judgment I am come into this world; that they who see not, may see; and they who see, may become blind.”Jn. 9:39 The “man born blind” did not see but now he sees all and believes in Jesus. The Pharisees who see do not believe, and, therefore, they become blind to the truth.
Jesus sees the human heart
As the “Light of the World,” Jesus can see the interior of the human heart and not the mere outward appearances as man sees things. From a human point of view, the “man born blind” is a sinner or the result of his parents’ sin. This was the common belief in Our Lord’s time for human misery. Jesus said that neither he nor his parents sinned. His blindness will show forth the glory of God to the world! Jesus looked into his heart and saw a truly faithful man who would give glory to God. From the very first instant, he showed his faith in Jesus. When Jesus uses the clay and spittle to cover his eyes, he did not say that it would never
work a cure. When he was told to go to wash in the Pool of Siloe, he did it promptly. At first, some people said that he was not the blind beggar, he declared: “I am he.” Jn. 9:9 When he was brought before the Pharisees, he told the truth of what happened: “He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Jn. 9:15 All the Jews knew that this was forbidden and would get the Pharisees angry. So also, he knew that if he defended Jesus for breaking the Sabbath, that he would be in more trouble. Instead, he says that “He is a prophet” Jn. 9:17 The “man born blind” nevertheless tells the truth when the Pharisees imply that Jesus is a sinner for curing on the Sabbath. He says: “If he be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.” Jn. 9:25 When he is questioned again about the cure, he answers that he has already told them plainly. His only conclusion is that they too would want to be His disciples: “I have told you already, and you have heard: why would you hear it again? will you also become his disciples? Jn. 9:27 This is a wonderful example of dramatic irony: the “man born blind” who is so good does not see how the Pharisees who appear good are so unbelieving.
When the “man born blind” hears them say that they do not know if Jesus is from God, he is amazed. He speaks up in defence of Jesus’ divine power: “Why, herein is a wonderful thing, that you know not from whence he is, and he hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God, and doth his will, him he heareth. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, he could not do anything. Jn. 9:30-33 The Pharisees are furious in their blindness and hard-heartedness and say: “Thou wast wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.” Jn. 9:34 Later when Jesus asks him if he believes in Him after Jesus told him that he was the Son of God, he replied: “’I believe, Lord.’ And falling down, he adored him.” Jn. 9:38
Believe in Jesus Christ
The “man born blind” has the faith that Jesus wants in all of us. Jesus does not want the faithless Pharisees who think they see but are truly blind: “If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.” Jn. 9:41 Every day we see the miracle of God’s creation and goodness of his Divine Providence in the world. Jesus wants us to believe in Him like the “man born blind.” What a marvelous person he is! No doubt in the early Church he continued to believe and defend Jesus Christ as a Christian.