Divine Light Beyond Sight
Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Lent
Readings: 1 SM 16:1B, 6-7, 10-13A; PS 23: 1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6; EPH 5:8-14; JN 9:1-41
Note: Mass for this 4th Sunday of Lent was done via live streaming. The public was unable to attend due to the necessity of physical separation during the rolling waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view the Mass on-line at one of these two places:
In today’s reading in the Gospel of John we encounter the 6th of 7 ‘signs’ of Jesus. Here Jesus cures the blindness of a young man who was blind from birth. Each of the seven signs of Jesus brings about the revelation of his divine power over creation is a primal way and the specificity of the symbolic meaning of the cure.
Note: the language of the Gospel of John would surely be improved in future translations to replace instances of ‘Jews’ with the more proper naming of ‘Leadership’. Jesus confronted an embedded leadership not the whole of the Jewish people, his very own.
Primal Power Over Creation
Jesus brings about sightedness to the young man. During this story it is attested to by the young man’s parents that in fact he could not see from birth. This is distinctly a revelation that Jesus can perform a radical sanation – to the root – which is the restoration of creation to its most perfect form.
Father Quesnel goes into depth about this point. The young man makes the journey from physical blindness to physical and spiritual sight. In an opposing way the Pharisees go deeper into their spiritual blindness even as they conduct their inquiry.
This is quite an interesting point. The investigation and the investigators were unable to hear and see the evidence presented to them. Such is our common plight. How often does the Lord present answer and data and example to all our existential questions and the heartaches we suffer and we need to listen and hear:
- Bruised Primal Creation – Who sinned that this man is blind from birth. It cannot be attributed to personal sin but to the damage made to creation by sin.
- Sabbath for the Man not Man for the Sabbath – this sign as well as so many others performed on the Day of Rest because this indeed is the rest of God.
- Necessity of Touch – Jesus shows us again and again the Lord desires to heal us through his touch, his personal and specific interaction with us.
- Challenge – There is no offense taken by Jesus to be challenged. We challenge the Lord all the time. Discernment and challenge are good with done in the proper spirit of seeking truth. Do we want to be able to see in the spirit?
- Witness – This young man goes through a very significant change and growth by reflection on the events, on the scripture, on their tradition and on his deepest restorative desire – one with God.
- Voice of Conscience – the Pharisees felt the prick of the conscience ‘are we’? It was a good question but asked with the bias perspective imbedded in it… Surely we are not also blind, are we? Their response to conscience was to try to rephrase the spiritual blindness as physical blindness which they clearly are not suffering from. No, Jesus replies, your sin remains because you reject any possibility of blindness within you.
Encounter Jesus in the 6th Sign
I hope you get a chance to reread the sixth sign of Jesus with contemplation and meditation. Encounter Jesus in the 9th Chapter of the Gospel of John.
Going dark is represented in this story by the investigation.
It begins with the basic error filled thought. Providing a cure on the Sabbath is sinful because there should be no work on the Sabbath.
- Doubling Down on What I know – isn’t this obvious. We take a position we are comfortable with and even more so derive our POWER from and do everything we can to reinforce it.
- Ignoring the Facts – The leadership wanted to make untrue what is true. He was born blind but they did what they could to manipulate and pressure these parents to deny this basic fact. Remember, they live the same culture. They are admitting, as it were, their own sin by the birth of a blind son (even as we have heard from Jesus that is not a sound thought for the parents to have – they too are healed).
- Rejecting Any Possibility of Change of Mind – A key weakness. We have our basis (Moses and the Elders and the traditions) and nothing will move us from these positions even as the same basis of argument is used by the young man to prove the truth. In other words, the young man spoke and used the logical process of the Pharisees to the Pharisees so they could jump the gap in understanding. It was not enough.
- Voices Outside the Elite – The leadership could not imagine any teaching or insight from anyone but those of their own group and from their own wealth of learning.
Let’s Let Light do what Light Does
As we can see from today’s reading, we must let light do what it is meant to do. Break free from bias and limited understanding. Don’t clutch so tightly the folk teachings that stand in front of and block the light of truth.
It’s work but the best of work. It is Sabbath work.
I hope you find this teaching link to be most helpful in these current times. You see, I do not claim ultimate authority. I am but a member of the human family and each of us discover new ways to bring light to the world inspired by the Divine.
Peace be with you,