Homily Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A To see as God sees

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Homily Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A

Reading 1: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.” The heart of Saul the King, chosen by God to lead the people of Israel, had become alienated from God. He was not obedient to the commands of God, but sought to take things in his own hand.

Because Samuel was a prophet of God, he sought to do the will of God and not his own; he sought to listen to the inner voice of God and not his normal human instincts. God sends Samuel to anoint a new king from the sons of Jesse, who resided in Bethlehem. The Messiah, Jesus, was from the house of David and was born in Bethlehem, the city of David. God chooses the least one among the sons of Jesse, fulfilling what Paul reminds us of: God chooses the least and foolish and the less likely to be in his plan of salvation, so that the boasting is in the Lord and not in the person. Isaiah the prophet said: God’s ways are not our ways; our thoughts not his thoughts.”

The story of Samuel’s insight is the story of Michelangelo. He tooked a flowed slab of marble, rejected by other artists, and produced the striking statue of David the Shepherd boy. Like Samuel, we are to ask for the light of God’s wisdom in the decision we make daily in life, even decisions that are unpopular or unacceptable to others.

Gospel: A man is born blind by natural situations not because of sin. Jesus has the insight of the Father. He sees the potential of the man that people only pitied and looked down on. He was living in physical darkness, but there was a potential inner light within him. His physical sight comes from a new birth, symbolize by his washing in the pool. 

His new insight develops. First he acknowledges that he is the same man but new and different. He identifies Jesus first as the man who healed him. Then he comes to proclaim Jesus as a prophet. Finally, he says that Jesus is from God. He has new insight, seeing things not from appearance but from God’s perspective. He acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah.

But there is another scenario going on. One, his parents out of fear refuse to embrace the light, which would lead them to the truth. Instead, they chose to remain in their comfort zone. They did not respond to God’s grace, given them through their sons’ healing.

The other group are the religious leaders, who, because of the hardness of their heart, their self-righteousness, their elitist pride, refuse to allow the signs of healing, the testimony of the healed to bring them from darkness into the light. Their sin was in the refusal to seek what God may be saying in this and other works of Jesus. They chose their own comfort zone rather than the truth of God’s revelation and insight.

Where do we choose the darkness of our comfort zone rather than the light of the freedom offered by Jesus?

Reading 2: When we judge from outward appearances or from a biased viewpoint, we are living in the darkness. When we seek to see people as Christ sees them, then we are children of the light. All areas of sin are deeds of darkness; all areas of virtue and love are deeds of light.

In Baptism we were delivered from the darkness of sin and given to live in the light of grace. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation the same occurs. As a result, we are to live as children of light, which produces fruit of goodness, righteousness and truth.

Lent is a time to put aside deeds of darkness, so that the light and life of Christ can motivate our lives and actions. Does God’s light shine in and through us? Can people see the life of Christ in us?

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