Reflection on Scripture Fourth Sunday of Lent Gospel A Spiritual insight of faith

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Fourth Sunday of Lent  Gospel A

As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 
There was a common understanding at the time that serious sickness, such as blindness, was due to punishment for sin, either one’s own sins and the sins of one’s parents.
Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, "Go wash  in the Pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see. 

As the light of the world Jesus heals the blind man first to physical sight.
The washing in the Pool of Siloam is seen as a foreshadowing of the Sacrament of Baptism which frees us from the darkness of sin and brings us into the life of God.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, "Isn't this the one who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is," but others said, "No, he just looks like him." He said, "I am." So they said to him, "(So) how were your eyes opened?" He replied, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went there and washed and was able to see." And they said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I don't know." 

The man first acknowledges Jesus simply as “the man” who performed a miracle.  Last Sunday’s Gospel Jesus evangelized a Samaritan woman. She began her spiritual journey with the negative comment about Jesus being a Jewish man.

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay  and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see."  So some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath." (But) others said, "How can a sinful man do such signs?" And there was a division among them. 

Keeping the Sabbath was more important to the leaders than the healing of one born blind.

So they said to the blind man again, "What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." 

Notice the progression: first he acknowledges Jesus as a man who performs miracles; now he states that he is a prophet (one who speaks the word of God).

Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?" His parents answered and said, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for him self." His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, "He is of age; question him." 

Are there times we keep silent or try to avoid speaking the truth for fear of what others may say or do?

So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give God the praise!  We know that this man is a sinner." He replied, "If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see." So they said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"  He answered them, "I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" They ridiculed him and said, "You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from." The man answered and said to them, "This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.  It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything." They answered and said to him, "You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?" Then they threw him out. 

He next testifies that Jesus was one come from God with miraculous powers.
Notice the process: The blind man’s sight is restored, but the leaders become progressively more blind to the truth of who Jesus truly is. The man’s journey began as a blind man in darkness, but leads him to a man of great spiritual insight.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him. 

As the light of the world, Jesus enlightens the man so that he sees spiritually enough to profess belief in him as the Messiah.  The journey of faith is complete. He has been evangelized.

Then Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind." Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains.”

The leaders claimed they see, but in reality they were spiritually blind to the truth of who Jesus was. In fact, they refuse to see. Is that true of us sometimes?

What have I learned from this passage? How does Jesus desire to bring me into a new level of understanding: leading me from darkness into a deeper understanding in faith concerning who he is?

How do our unrepentant sins keep us in darkness? Does Jesus want to give us the same spiritual insight as he gave the man born blind?  What holds us back?
What has our spiritual journey been like?

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