I have been using the Dynamic Catholic daily podcasts for my own Lenten reflections this year. These reflections are the answer when I asked Jesus want he wanted me to do this Lent. In the one on Thursday, he talked about a 100% commitment to Jesus and His way. What a wake up call for me……am I 100% committed to the way of Jesus?
The man born blind is a symbol of our spiritual blindness. We may all have an innate fear of the dark but sometimes the dark can be a comfortable place to hide. If we hide in the dark, allow ourselves to remain blind, then there is no need for a 100% commitment to Jesus. After all, how can I build the Kingdom if I don’t see it? Not seeing the opportunities that God places before us, in our minds, absolves us from responsibilities. How can I find Jesus if I stay in the darkness of my sin and fear? Sometimes I really don’t want to be found, to be honest. It is just easier to be concerned about me; sometimes it is just easier to stay exactly where I am because if I let Jesus heal my pain and my wounds and my sins…..I don’t have to change. My darkness is more comfortable even though I might hate it.
Notice how Jesus gave the man sight. He spat on the ground and make a mud paste and anointed his eyes. In this sacramental encounter, the man was healed of His blindness and gained his spiritual sight to see Jesus for who he was: the Eternal Son of the Father who came to bring the abundance of God’s mercy into the world. In Jesus, the man began to see the Kingdom of God.
St Paul captures this same theme in an ancient baptismal hymn:
Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
The unbaptized were seen as asleep and spiritually blind. The grace of Baptism gave them the sight of discipleship. It woke them up. This same grace was ours at baptism; but are we still asleep? Have we become spiritually blind? Do we choose to remain in the darkness? Baptism is not a one day thing with cute baby in white. Most of us were baptized as infants, but that doesn’t mean that the grace isn’t there today. We were anointed with Holy Chrism and set apart to be priest, prophet and kings, not just for a day, but for a lifetime!.. However, given the gift of free will, we can hide from our identity and remain blind and in the dark, and the world will not change……nor will we.
As we walk this fourth week of Lent, beginning right now, may each of us ask Jesus to touch our eyes that we may see……and accept the reality that He will. In this fourth week of Lent, may each of us hold one person in prayer and ask Jesus to touch that person’s eyes and heart so they may see.
God of Light and Vision
Take away our blindness and grant us the sight that only faith will give.
Touch our hearts with your Divine Light.
Enlighten the very depth of our souls with the fire of belief.
Grant each of us the courage, like the blind man, to be witnesses to you, no matter what.