Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 9,1-41
As Jesus 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?”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Blaming. Blindness. Blessing
1) Blaming The gospel is perfectly timed, as always -because it opens with same exact question all of us are asking- about this suffering Whose to blame, whose fault is this suffering? Natural- We are trying to make meaning- and attempt to understand its origin and to try to explain/make sense of the problem of suffering, to help us manage the situation-
Yet it can miss the mark- we might be asking the wrong question- Just like the apostles-who asked- Is this blindness due to the sin of the parents or the sin of the man.
And Jesus’ answer is surprising- he says its neither. It is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
Notice what Jesus did- redirected the whole conversation- Jesus instead of looking in the past for who to blame -looks ahead into the future and points out who to praise- real purpose
2) Blindness Last month- Feb 19th So I went to my first Coalition meeting at the health center- – I thought it was a good time to share my wisdom about what I thought about the corona virus at that time-
At that time I was convinced it was mostly being hyped by the media and I didn’t think it was as bad as they were saying. I really didn’t. I wasn’t convinced of the danger and was really blind to seeing the facts.
Sure enough a month later we are streaming a Sunday mass from an empty Church. -surreal
Reminded me how blind I can be -helped me read this whole Gospel in a different light
Same mistake Jesse, Samuel and the Pharisees made- they were shortsighted and judged from appearances. Seeing things through their own lens-
Jesse was convinced David wasn’t Kingly material,
Samuel was convinced Eliab was God’s choice, both were wrong
The Pharisees were convinced Jesus was not the messiah and they were very wrong
They Suffer a Spiritual Blindness- worse than physical-
3) Blessing One of my priest friends at a university was very upset with the decision to close the church because he felt it signaled the wrong message- struggling- show Church is open its doors not closing them- in this moment of difficulty don’t run from the church but rather go to the church, I understand his concern. However even he can see the good that this darkness has brought to light. Its true the Stars can only be seen at night- they shine brighter
You don’t appreciate what you have till its gone- daily Eucharist- It is certainly forcing many people who wouldn’t otherwise search for other means of nourishment to feed their hunger for God and learn other avenues on the Internet and in other ways to try to connect with God and others. Looking for innovative and creative ways to maintain and deepen their relationship with Jesus during this challenging time. It’s an imposed fast that is getting us in touch with our hunger. It like the movie Collateral beauty — which helps us look at the gift, the silver lining in the tragedies of our life and see the hidden blessings
God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and the Holy Spirit
Always remember heaven is our goal