Homily: March 30, 2014

A HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – CYCLE “A” – 3/30/14  – SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!

A couple of years ago, the Norinco Weapons Company of China advertized a new weapon that they were putting on the global market, for use by militaries around the world.  The weapon is called the ZM-87

Portable laser “disturber.”  The new weapon uses laser beams to damage the eyes of enemies.  According the Chicago Tribune, the Company says that one of its major applications is “to injure or dizzy” the eyes of an enemy combatant with high-powered laser pulses, and especially anybody who is sighting and firing…by means of an optical instrument, so as to cause him to lose combat ability or result in suppression of his observation and sighting operation.”  The pulsating laser blinds people.  According to its maker, the ZM-87 is effective to a range of two miles.  And remember, the Chinese Company is offering the new weapon for sale to the whole world, to anybody with the cash.  How terrifying is that?

When you blind a soldier, you render him or her worthless for battle.  Do you know who else knows this?  The Devil knows this.  One of the Devil’s favorite tricks is to blind the eyes!  And he has so many different ways of doing it!  Distractions to keep us from seeing God in our lives are everywhere.  If the Devil can get us to not see God and His love, if he can get us to take our eyes off of God, then he can get us distracted by any number of things in this life.  Money, people, things, houses, cars, beauty, our pride, our selfishness, any and all of these things can blind us to God and His love.  And just like a soldier blinded by a laser weapon, we’re just not much use to God in our blindness.

So we come to Mass today on this Laetare Sunday, our Fourth Sunday of our Lenten Season, and we hear the story of the healing of the man born blind.  And it is a nice story.  We’re happy for the man who gets healed.  But I think that this man, his plight, and his healing are all very difficult for most of us to understand or relate to.  Most of us are not blind.  We even live in a time and a situation when so many of the worst eye problems, and vision difficulties, and diseases, have been conquered by modern medicine.  So what’s this Gospel have to do with us?  This blind man lives in complete darkness and always has.  He can’t do many things.  He can’t experience many things.  In many ways he is trapped by and in his blindness.  He has no choice but to sit by the side of the road and beg for assistance.  Most of us will never know what that feels like.  And yet, the spiritual blindness that the Devil just loves, confines so many of us to a very similar kind of existence in our Faith lives.  Sometimes, the spiritual blindness that the Devil loves so much to inflict on us, is so much more dangerous than just a blindness of the eyes.  Make no mistake about it, my brothers and sisters, we too need healing of our blindness.  God’s grace, His sacraments, and the power of His love are all powerful remedies for the blindness that the Devil just loves to impose on us!  As we make our way through this world, how important it is for all of us to clearly see our way and to stay focused on Christ.

The best example of our spiritual blindness is our sin.  Our sins keep us from seeing God as He really is.  If we truly saw God’s goodness and love, and just what He has in store for each one of us, we would never sin.  We would never break a commandment.  We would never fail to make God the center of our lives.  We would never go more than a few minutes without talking to God, or at least thinking about Him.  If our sins and the lies and deceptions of the Devil didn’t blind us to the truth, we would never want to live outside of God’s grace and love and peace again.

This is why, one of the first steps of our being healed of our blindness, has got to Reconciliation for our sins.  Reconciliation removes the blinders, and helps us to really see and experience God.  And of course, what’s the great news this weekend?  We have our annual Lenten Penance service coming up this Tuesday evening at 7 PM right here in church.  There are Catholics who haven’t been to reconciliation for years.  We need more of a sense of just what that does to our spiritual vision and sight!  We can’t see anything that God wants us to see, when we’re blinded by sin.  Come and join us Tuesday evening, and give God the chance to take away your blindness!  Let nothing stop any of us from seeing our Lord!

+  May God bless us this day,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                               AMEN !!!

+    St. Maria Goretti…                 Pray for us !!!