1Sam 16:1,6-7,10-13; Eph 5:8-19; John 9:1-41
A couple who was celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary, to have a dinner with them, once invited me. While we were eating, I talked to the wife and asked her about their secret why they stayed that longer. She just told me that it’s a secret. But I was not contented with her answer. I continued asking her and told that may be they stayed longer because she is in loved with her husband. She laughed. So, I asked her about her understanding of the word ‘love.’ She told me: “Love is blind that lovers cannot see.”
I asked her to explain further why love is blind. She told me that love is blind because a true love cannot be seen by our naked eyes but it can bee seen through our hearts. So love cannot be from our eyes but love is from our hearts. And I nodded in agreement with her.
In today’s gospel, Jesus met and cured a man born blind. If I am going to ask you, how many blind men are in our gospel today. I am sure that your answer would be one because there is only one identified blind person. But I would rather say that it is more than one if we go deeper with our reflection. I think there are four of them.
The first group of blinds is the apostles. They are blind because they asked Jesus: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? Instead of asking the most important question: How can we help this blind man?
The Jewish people believe that sickness and even more such a sickness would be a punishment for sin either pre-natal sin or sin of the embryo. Or the child born blind was punished for the sins of the parents. Jesus rejects both opinions.
It is the same with us. We are surrounded with so many injustices, poverty and even exploitation and even suppression but we just say: “They are poor because they are lazy and inutile.”
The second group of blinds is his parents, relatives and neighbors. Even though they witnessed that it was Jesus who cured blind man but they refused to say it. It is because of their fear of being expelled from the synagogue by the Pharisees. They are afraid to say that this man was cured by Jesus Himself whom this blind man considered as the prophet.
They are like those Catholics who don’t have backbones. Their personal interests, cowardice and fear blind them.
The third group of blinds is the Pharisees. They refuse to acknowledge that Jesus had performed the miracle of restoring sight to the blind man. They suspended their belief because of their prejudices and biases against Him. Instead they call Jesus as a sinner because He violated the law of the Sabbath. So, they are blind to the truth already in their eyes.
The fourth blind is blind man himself who was cured by Jesus because of his faith and trust in Him. Though he was blind physically, he could see with his heart. The other three could see with their eyes but not with their hearts as fear, cowardice, prejudices, biases and their own selfish interests blinded them.
If we are these four types of blinds, we can have two different kinds of blindness: physical blindness as represented by the blind man himself and spiritual blindness as represented by the other three groups.
Spiritual blindness could be that we could not see it with our own hearts. For instance, an old man in his 70s said: “If you are afraid to die, you are not free to live.” This could be like this.
Lenten season is a season of light that one can cure his blindness through this season. I don’t see any blind person here, but I am sure you are blind like the apostles, Pharisees, relatives, parents and neighbors of blind man who was cured. If you are, then, recognize and ask the Lord: “Lord, I want to see.”
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A