Sam 16: 1, 6-7,10-13; Eph 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
Today at the pool of Siloam Jesus says “I am the light of the world.” The man born blind is in the dark. Jesus opens his eyes – and ours, to the Light. But the Pharisees stay in the dark. The question: are we in the light and seeing the Lord Jesus?
We are the man born blind. Adam was fashioned out of clay. He was made in light but chose the dark; the man born blind is refashioned with clay. Like him, we grow from darkness to light. Notice the man says, “I was blind” and “now I see.” He grows gradually, as we do, in seeing Jesus first as someone who touched him and enabled him to see. Then, he seemingly become a religion teacher to the Pharisees, explaining Jesus’ identity and in doing so, he becomes a worshipper of Jesus. Here sees the Divine.
As I say to the confirmation candidates, the sacraments are encounters with Christ. They lead us to see Christ, to experience him in our lives. Stumbling in the dark made the man born blind ready to see — light from THE Light. The man born blind experienced Jesus, THE sacrament of God. Put yourself in this man’s place. Imagine standing there in the dark, blind. Jesus touches you, and the first thing you see is Jesus! This is amazing. Even Moses was not allowed to see the face of God. Jesus IS God. He enters human history and makes the Father visible. You and I, sensitized by all the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, hopefully, see Christ visible, more each week in daily life, as the saints did, if we cooperate with daily graces, that is, with the life of Christ within us.
St. Theophilus of Antioch says: “God is seen by those who have the capacity to see him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open.” Let’s keep them open! Today is Laetare Sunday, the joyful anticipation of Easter, just past the midway point of Lent. After today, we move toward the most solemn days of Lent. Next week we cover the statues, and we enter the period called Passiontide. The following week is Palm Sunday; then, it’s Holy Week. In part two of Lent, let’s maintain our efforts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and so create a space inside to receive God’s life and grow in our relationship with him like the man born blind.
Why not spend some time with the Lord? Make a visit to the Eucharistic chapel, available 24 hours a day. “Siloam” means sent. All of us bathe in the baptismal pool and are sent forth in the Light of Christ to be Christ’s Light. We point others to Christ the Light. We have two catechumens who seek to join us. Today we call them to the second scrutiny as they continue to prepare for the pool of baptism — water and light – at Easter.