Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent

Jesus Opens the Eyes

In the Gospel of John, one of the seven signs indicating Jesus as the Messiah is the Lord miraculously restoring the sight of a man born blind (Ref John Chapter 9).  The man encounters Jesus twice, once at the beginning of the story and again at the end.  In both cases it is Jesus who finds him, not the other way.  Do you feel like left in the dark end of life, needing some enlightenment?  Don’t lose heart, Jesus will find you.

To blind man’s realisation that Jesus the Messiah sent by God was a gradual revelation.    In the beginning, when the Pharisees asked, “where is he (Jesus)” the response was “I do not know”.  In the next phase when the Pharisees asked the man to comment on the identity of Jesus, he said ‘a prophet’.  This is a progress in his insight. By the time the Pharisees in the story questioned the divinity of Jesus, the man who received vision is insightful to say that Jesus is from God.  In the final stage of his faith journey, the man is able to see Jesus and proclaims him as ‘Son of God’ and worships him.  So will it be with us too.  Our faith is a journey.  Through God’s work with us in our darkness, slowly we come to appreciate Jesus as our personal saviour and worship him.  We need to be patient pilgrims moving towards that full realisation.  Unlike the Pharisees who, in spite of their devotedness to the religion, were not open to see signs of God’s saving work.   We need to be open to God’s Word to see the signs of God alive and active in our midst.

If you are surrounded by challenging situations or crisis, the story of restoring sight is worth meditating on.  John narrated the story of Jesus giving sight to the blind man in a crisis time.  At the time of writing the Gospel of John (about 100 AD), Christians were in a crisis time.  Most of the converts were from Judaism and, though they followed Jesus’ teaching, still considered themselves part of Judaism.  But majority of the Jews had a different idea.  From about 80 AD, Jews started expelling the followers of Jesus from their synagogues.  This was a painful experience for the Christians.  To make things worse, families were divided between those who became Christian and those who remained Jews.  Due to such tensions, many Christians were expelled from their homes by their own people who remained Jews.  The social isolation, fear, and anxiety did not stop the early Christians from continuing to worship Jesus as their personal saviour.  In fact it made them all the more resolute to do so.  Open your minds and hearts to see God’s work in and around you, in everyday of your life.