One Minute Reflection – 22 March – The Fourth “Laetare” Sunday of Lent, Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13, Psalm 23:1-6, Ephesians 5:8-14, John 9:1-41
“He spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay” … John 9:6
REFLECTION – “Let us reflect briefly on the account of the man born blind (Jn 9: 1-41). According to the common mentality of the time, the disciples take it for granted that his blindness was the result of a sin committed by him or his parents. Jesus, however, rejects this prejudice and says – “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents but that the works of God might be made manifest in him” (Jn 9: 3).
… And He immediately takes action – mixing a little earth with saliva he made mud and spread it on the eyes of the blind man. This act alludes to the creation of man, which the Bible recounts using the symbol of dust from the ground, fashioned and enlivened by God’s breath (Gn 2: 7). In fact, “Adam” means “ground” and the human body was in effect formed of particles of soil. By healing the blind man, Jesus worked a new creation.
But this healing sparked heated debate because Jesus did it on the Sabbath, thereby, in the Pharisees’ opinion, violating the feast-day precept. Thus, at the end of the account, Jesus and the blind man are both cast out, the former because he broke the law and the latter because, despite being healed, he remained marked as a sinner from birth.
Jesus reveals to the blind man whom He had healed that He had come into the world for judgement, to separate the blind who can be healed, from those who do not allow themselves to be healed because they consider themselves healthy. Indeed, the temptation to build himself an ideological security system is strong in man – even religion can become an element of this system, as can atheism or secularism but in letting this happen, one is blinded by one’s own selfishness.” … Pope Benedict XVI – 2 March 2008
PRAYER – Holy Father, we are sinners who stand in Your presence and serve You. Grant us Your mercy and forgiveness, for we are all Your prodigal children. Your Word, our Christ, came to redeem us, to relieve our blindness and open our eyes, to open our ears, that we might hear. May Mary Most Holy, who, by conceiving Christ in the flesh, gave the world the true light, help us to conquer the ‘great transgression’ of our pride. May we honour, love and serve You through His example and by following in His steps. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.