A scholarly attempt at an interpretation of Sunday's liturgical readings.

The Man Born Blind

Have you ever considered which of  the five senses would be for you the last to go?  I considered it for awhile, and finally decided that “sight” should be the one I would like to keep.  Perhaps it is because vision broadens one’s span for judgement.  Besides, I love looking at nature, watching movies/TV, and reading. “Vision” seems to bring  many of the senses together.

Given this as background, we can really sorry for the man born blind (John 9:1-41) who was never able to have seen any of the glories of nature.  However, in the Gospel account, the man born blind is given by Jesus not only physical sight but spiritual sight as well.  As we reflect on the Gospel reading, we notice that the principal theme is the standard antithesis, namely, “light vs darkness.”  Jesus called himself the “light of the world,” so it was his task to bring the light of undersanding into the darkness of ignorance.

First of all, there is physical vision.  When approached by the blind man, Jesus made some clay, put it on the man’s eyes and told him to wash in the waters of the pool at Siloam (saving water?).  There was a miracle!  However, the Pharisees were out to entrap Jesus.  They noticed that Jesus did the healing on the Sabbath which was not permitted.  So the Pharisees  stated that Jesus was not from God because he “broke the law.”  The healed individual praised Jesus because of what he had done, saying that Jesus could not have performed the miracle unless he was from God.  Once again, it was a quesiton of priorities.  Which is more important?  The law or the needs of the individual?  The lesson?  That we keep the same priorities that Jesus did, namely, the needs of a hurting person are more important than laws.

Secondly, we note in the Gospel reading a severe nod toward spiritual vision.  The healed person is asked by Jesus, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  The answer was very much in the affirmative.  If one believes in Jesus, then one is committed to follow his example of compassion.  The lesson?  How is our spiritual vision in that we can “see” Jesus in others?  Perhaps it is the darkness of sin that blocks our spiritual vision.

Our Christian vision “sees” the importance of people over law, and also allows us to “see” Jesus in others, especially the marginal folk and the downtrodden.  Now, this is real inSIGHT which Lent can help us achieve.



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