Lent – 4th Sunday
March 2, 2008
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
I am the light of the world, says the Lord. Whoever follows me will have the light of life.
And so is the faith we proclaim as Catholic Christians. It is not just a faith in a philosophy or a doctrine, but most especially a faith in a person. The person of Jesus – the light in our darkness.
Last week we heard the story of the woman at the well from the gospel of John and reflected on its sacramental character.
This week we are asked once again by the Church to hear these readings in light of the celebration of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist which we will celebrate in a most special way at the Easter vigil.
Today is the story of the healing of the man born blind.
In some sense, the story is very simple. The man born blind represents all of us in our spiritual blindness. We are all born with it. The man born blind is anointed by Jesus with the clay that he makes, and then he washes in the pool of siloam. This ritual washing reminds us of the sacrament of baptism. After Jesus heals his physical sight, the man comes to have faith in Jesus and so he is spiritually enlightened. He comes to know Jesus as the light of the world.
On the other hand, the Pharisees, though they can see physically, remain spiritually blind. They refuse to have faith.
For us who prepare for the great celebration of Easter, the call of this gospel is two fold.
We need Jesus to save us from our own works of darkness. Where our eye looks with judgment toward another person, we need Jesus to illumine us with his mercy. Where our eye looks down on another person, we need Jesus to come show us the dignity of each human person. Where our eye looks lustfully at another person, we need Jesus to show us the beauty and freedom of chastity. When our vision is darkened by the lack of faith, we need Jesus to ignite a brilliant light of faith in our souls. Therefore St. Paul writes to the Ephesians telling them to “take no part in the fruitless works of darkness. We need Jesus to save us from our own works of darkness.
Jesus comes to make us the light of the world. Remember. He who is the light of the world said this to his disciples. You are the light of the world. And the Lord wants us to shine brightly for him to the whole world.
Shine for him.
When people practice hatred, let our love increase for them.
When people offend us, let us forgive them endlessly
When people are full of unbelief, let us plant seeds of faith in them
Shine for him.
When people are in despair, may we speak hope to them
When people are full of sadness, let us bring joy to them
Shine for him.
When people live in darkness, may we be light for them.
And we can only do that when Jesus is our love, our forgiveness, our belief, our hope, our joy, and our light.
He is the light of the world. To truly follow him is to have the light of life.