3rd, no 4th Sunday Lent – Cycle A, FYI

Mud on eyesI presided at the Saturday liturgy at which the parish prayed the 2nd Scrutiny over the Elect. Scrutinies are meant to help uncover whatever is weak and heal it; and to hold up whatever is strong and encourage that. So, we used the Cycle A readings – John 9:1-41, the healing of the blind man.

“Blind” describes the person Jesus healed… who stands as the nexus at which idolatry is uncovered and the promise of God encourages:

Isaiah 29:16–19            You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay? Shall the thing made say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, “He has no understanding”?  On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.  The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 35:3–6            Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.  Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”  Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert…

“Light” is a key word in the lexicon John used. This passage from chapter 3 helps us see how the healing of the blind man developed into believing.

John 3:17–21             “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.  For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.  But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

Here’s my theological summary: The healing of the man born blind allowed him to move from dwelling in the night, afraid of exposure, to stepping into the Light to expose his deeds AND encounter all throughout the Light come into the world.

Here’s my spiritual-life summary: Sent to wash off the mud, this one came to see. As we learn that we are blind, that we don’t see, we are in a position to be sent to Siloam to wash.

Let’s pray today with having roots of our blindness uncovered. 

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