By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – MARCH 30, 2014
In the early Christian community, baptism was often referred to as “illumination.” Once illumined, the new believer began to radiate Christ’s light to all the world. This was done by the believer’s constant confessing out loud and in public that Jesus Christ is God’s gift of light to the world.
Sunday’s Gospel (John 9:1-41) describes the deepening illumination process experienced not just by the man born blind, but by all believers who are born spiritually blind.
Definitely, it is Jesus who opens the spiritual eyes of all believers. But as believers are challenged, as the man born blind was challenged, believers become more and more aware of just who Jesus is.
Notice how the man born blind progressed, while being challenged, from “The man called Jesus….to ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’….to ‘Lord, I believe.’”
Now the cost was probably loss of family and synagogue, essential for personal and religious identity. But the gain was that the man born blind now radiated the full illumination of Christ’s light. With the new Christ identity, nothing else was needed.
May the believing community’s Lenten journey to Easter conclude with the same illuminating public faith proclamation: “Lord, I believe.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for March 30 to April 6
1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Jn 9:1-41 or Jn 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38
Ez 47:1-9, 12
Wis 2:1a, 12-22
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jn 11:1-45 or Jn 11:3-7, 20-27, 33b-45