4th Sunday in Lent
What a powerful message Paul shares today! “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light.” Let’s keep this tucked in our minds as we reflect on the story of the man born blind.
John’s account of the cure of the blind man is a story about faith, the ability to see the truth, and a meditation on the cost of discipleship. This man was born blind, but, like all of us, he was born spiritually blind, too. What spiritual sight he may have had probably came from his parents, who raised him in their Jewish tradition. However, it was the widespread belief that a child’s chronic illness was a punishment for sins committed by the parents.
In addition, when Jesus cured this man, it was a tense time. The threat had come out from the religious authorities that those who followed Jesus could be excommunicated from the synagogue. This was frightening in two ways. It meant they would be excluded from Jewish life. Notably, they would forfeit the Jewish indult that freed them from the yearly civic act of worshiping the Roman Emperor, an indult gained after much suffering. Refusal to perform this act was considered treason by Rome.
As the account attests, when this man gained sight and believed in Jesus, he forfeited his ties to his Jewish community. Even his parents abandoned him for fear of repercussions from the authorities.
In this account, John is warning us that faith in Jesus does not come without cost – to follow him means to be different, even counter-cultural. Imagine the costs of being a Christian in many lands today! Even today, committed faith in Jesus, can exclude us from family, friends and even nation. John may be teaching us that suffering is part of discipleship.
“You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” Lord, I believe in you. Give me the strength and courage to let your light of truth shine through me.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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