“I have come into the world so that the blind will see.”

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent by Br. Paul Crawford, OFM, Cap.

This reflection was originally posted in our March 20th newsletter


BlindThe ongoing call of Lent is an urgent call to repent and to make a conscious and free choice to turn away from sin, which leads to death, and to embrace the Gospel, which leads to Life. This week’s Gospel passage is about the man born blind. This passage forms together with those of the third and fifth Sundays of Lent, to form a triduum that points to the baptismal themes of water (the women at the well), light (the healing of the man born blind), and life (the raising of Lazarus).

These powerful readings remind us all what Life as a believer is all about.

We see here the drama of a decision to accept or reject the call of Christ. The man born blind receives his physical sight early in the story; the rest of the passage traces the birth of his spiritual sight. Just like how his vision healed, he first calls Jesus a man, than a prophet, then the one who is “from God” and finally, as “Lord.” He comes to see who Jesus is because he is willing to believe.

This attitude of willingness stands in stark contrast to the hardness of the hearts of the Pharisees. Even as witnesses of the same physical healing, they try to explain away the evidence as they question the man and his family. They portrayed Jesus as a sinner, and finally they ejected the healed man from their midst.

This drama and confrontation is repeated too often in our “advanced” society which struggles with belief over ideology, with labeling over accepting, with welcoming over fearing.

Years ago P.T. Barnum heard about a person who was going to cross over Niagara Falls on a tightrope. So he traveled there to see for himself. There was a huge crowd watching and the aerial artist, holding a lone pole to help him balance, walked across the falls to the cheers of the crowd. P.T. Barnum ran over to talk to the artist. In the midst of the conversation, P.T. raved about the artist and how he had to have him perform for his traveling show. The artist said to him “Do you believe that I can do this again?” P.T. said, “Of course I believe, otherwise why would I want to hire you?” The artist said, “Great, then get on my back and we’ll go across.”

That is the difference between belief and Faith. We are challenged this Lent to stop saying we believe and just climb on with our Faith. We need to remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees at the end of today’s Gospel: “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you are saying, ‘We see’, so your sins remains.”

Br. Paul Crawford, OFM, Cap.
FAN Board Treasurer

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Published in: on March 21, 2017 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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