A HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – CYCLE “A” – MARCH 26TH , 2017 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Our Gospel story starts out today with the disciples asking Jesus about WHY this man was born blind. There’s got to be a reason. It has to be somebody’s fault. We know very well this way of thinking. We think just like this today. How many times do we just want somebody to blame for everything? For loss of life, for sickness, for accidents, for divorce, for higher gas prices, for teenage rebellion, no matter what the problem, there’s got to be some explainable, logical reason, that makes sense to our little brains. And so, we do our best to find the reason, and to place the blame! But what if we’re wrong? What if, just like in today’s reading, it is not because of anybody’s sins? What if everything, both the good and the bad that we receive in this life. ALL of it, is for the praise and glorification of God? Our job is not always to explain. Our job is to trust in the promises of God and to know for sure that no matter what is going on in our lives, that our God is there, and just like with the man born blind, God wants to heal us also.
Isn’t this trust at the very heart of our Lenten observance? During these forty days, we are trying to build that trust to know that God is always in charge of our lives. God was in charge on Good Friday afternoon, no matter what the Romans thought. And God was also in charge on Easter Sunday morning, no matter what the Jewish leaders thought. Sometimes, the question “Why?” isn’t the most important question. Instead, perhaps the better question is what do we have to do, to see things from God’s perspective and not our own? How do we follow Him, and trust Him, if we’re so busy following ourselves and our own wants and desires? This man’s blindness is not because of his sin or his parent’s sin. God has a much bigger plan for this man and for his handicap. But a trust and a Faith is required to get to that bigger plan.
Notice in today’s Gospel, how the man who is cured by Jesus of his blindness, is moved first from seeing Jesus as a prophet, to bantering with the Pharisees over Jesus and his healing, to finally becoming a believer in Jesus as the Promised One. His conversion is powerful example of what happens when we let go of our own will and our own plans, and trust God! The Blind Man’s healing and his conversion are seen as a stark contrast to the hard-heartedness of the Pharisees. Jesus can heal the Blind Man of his physical blindness because he has a trust. The Pharisees, however, are seen by Jesus as having a much worse, much more dangerous blindness than the Blind Man. The Pharisee’s blindness is much harder to cure than the Blind Man, because they don’t realize that they are blind. They think that their vision is just fine. They think that their judgments, their fears, their prejudices, are all fine and appropriate to their office as religious leaders. Jesus sees things very differently. Jesus would say that they are all much more blind than the Blind Man. And they are worse off, because they don’t want to be healed!
This Lent, we call to mind all the ways that we are blind. Are we blind to God’s love? Are we blind to God’s Mercy? Are we blind to the people around us that God wants us to love and care for? Maybe we are blind towards a lonely neighbor, or a struggling teenager, or a stressed-out spouse. Sometimes our blindness is the blindness to see as God sees, and not as humankind sees. There’s a big difference. And Lent gives us the perfect time to check our sight, our vision. Does it match up to God’s?
This coming Tuesday night, March 28th, at 7:00 PM, is our Lenten Communal Penance Service. We invite you to come join us this Tuesday, as several priests from our Deanery will be here to help us celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You need to be here this coming Tuesday evening. We all do! Please be aware that with Spring Break falling as it does this year, that we are coming back straight into Holy Week, and very limited access to Confession before Easter. Take advantage of this Penance Service to get to Confession before Easter!
God heals all of us our blindness, IF, if we let Him! Let’s give God that chance in our lives this week!
+ May God bless us during our Fourth Week of Lent, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!