Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lent 4 A - Mar 30, 2014

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY 
Br. Bob Pierson, OSB
Year A - Lent 4 - March 30, 2014

1 Samuel 16:1-13 
Ephesians 5:8-14 
John 9:1-41 
Jesus healing the blind man
How well do you see? Recently I was surprised to find out that I see better than I thought I did. When I applied for my New York driver's license, I was able to pass the vision test without my glasses. For the first time since I began driving at age 16, I no longer have to wear glasses while driving.

There was a time though when I couldn't see things very well, but I didn't know it. My sixth grade teacher noticed I was squinting to read the black board and she suggested to my parents that I should get my eyes checked. I thought I was seeing just fine, and I remember how amazed I was after putting on my first pair of glasses. Wow! Those trees have leaves on them, and I could actually see the individual leaves rather than just a mass of green.

As I was reading this gospel passage of the healing of the man born blind the other day, I recalled that experience of coming to clearer sight, and it occurred to me that perhaps the reason that the Pharisees couldn't see things as well as they thought they could was because they were looking through the wrong lenses. Have you ever tried looking through another person's eye glasses? Often it's easier to see without any glasses at all than to try to see anything with the wrong prescription lenses.

So what lenses were the Pharisees using? They were looking through the lenses of the law, and what they saw was Jesus breaking the law by healing someone on the sabbath. In their eyes, that made Jesus a sinner. The man who was healed, however, didn't see it that way at all. He was looking through the lenses of faith, and he saw a person doing good on the sabbath, performing an amazing miracle, and in his eyes Jesus was a prophet.

The Pharisees weren't the only ones have a hard time seeing clearly. The parents of the man born blind could see that he was healed, but because they were looking through the lenses of fear, they weren't able to see who Jesus was either. The lenses through which we look really do effect how we see and what we see. We see things differently through the lenses of love than we do through the lenses of power and control. We see things differently through the lenses of forgiveness than we do through the lenses of anger and bitterness.

Lent is a good time to get our spiritual eyes checked and to make any needed correction in the lenses through which we view the world. If we realize that we are limited in our vision—in our ability to see the world as it really is—we can ask God to heal us and help us find the right lenses.

And when God heals our sight, it's not just for us alone. The writer of the letter to the Ephesians reminds us, “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light.” As children of the light, we are called to share Christ's light with others. Jesus, the light of the world, calls us to share the Good News of God's love and mercy, dispelling the darkness around us.

We may not consider the tiny light we have to be all that much, but as that light is shared with others, it multiplies until, like the light of the Easter candle, it fills the room with radiance. “Come, Lord Jesus, and enlighten our minds and hearts. Help us to see clearly so we can share your light with others around us.” AMEN.

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