MARCH 22, 2020 FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT (Lec. 31)
1) 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
2) Ephesians 5:8-14
3) John 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 Gospel related: CCC 575, 588, 595, 596, 1151, 1504, 2173, 2827
FOCUS: In the first reading, we are given a glimpse into the ways of God. The least of all became the first, chosen by God to be a king. From that day forward, any success David might enjoy would be proof of God’s favor, giving strength to David’s weakness. In choosing the unlikely one, the unanticipated one, one seemingly so small for a task so great, God shows us that nothing is impossible with his help. God sees potential where all we might see are shortcomings. God envisions more for us than we could ever imagine.
The second reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is a clarion call to this truth about God. Paul exhorts the people of Ephesus to live as children of light. For God desires more of us than for us to live in darkness. He sent his Son to overcome darkness with light, that we might all arise from the dead, and receive the light of Christ.
This glimpse into the ways of God, and the contrast between darkness and light, set the stage for today’s Gospel. Rather than rejoicing that the blind man has been given the gift of sight, he is accused of sin as if he was to blame for his blindness. Many in Jesus’ time considered blindness to be God’s curse. A blind man was a “nobody” since he was unable to work to provide for a spouse and family, and he lived as a beggar on the streets. For Jesus to give this man sight is akin to a rebirth into society: He gives him new hope and a better life. The Lord offers the same to all who believe.
This lengthy Gospel forms the basis for the Second Scrutiny for the Elect preparing for baptism. It serves as a reminder to us that we are all born blind, and we receive our sight at baptism when we are first able to look at the world through the fresh eyes of faith. Indeed, the Lord states his purpose clearly: I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see. Thus, from the young and unexpected King David’s lineage came another young and unexpected king: Jesus Christ. Through him, God has reconciled us to himself, brought us out of darkness into light, and given us the eyes of faith to declare I do believe, Lord. As our Lenten journey has passed the halfway point, we pray that the Lord may continue to open our eyes to what we need to see, to heal us of our blind spots and to acknowledge the sins we overlook. May we look at each other the way God looks at each of us – with love and with mercy, because God desires more for us than we could ever imagine. And may the grace of the Eucharist transform us to lead lives pleasing to the Lord, producing every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.