Reflection – 22 March 2020 (4th Sunday of Lent, Year A)


Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent. Last Sunday, Jesus promised the gift of ‘living water’ to the Samaritan woman; today, Jesus reveals himself as ‘the light of the world’ by healing the man born blind; next Sunday, in raising his friend Lazarus, he will present himself as ‘the resurrection and the life’. Water, light and life are symbols of Baptism, the Sacrament that free us from the slavery of sin and bring us to the eternal life.

It’s not easy to be blind. The person cannot see anything. Day or night looks similar, only dark and night. The person gets difficulty in doing something and cannot see the direction where he or she wants to go.

In the old days it was common for people to use paper lanterns in Japan. The paper shielded a lit candle and was held together by bamboo sticks.

A blind man happened to be visiting a friend and since it was late, was offered
a lantern to take home with him.

He laughed at the suggestion. “Day and night are all one to me,” he said,  “What would I do with a lantern?”

His friend said, “You do not need it to find your way home, true. But it might help to prevent someone from running into you in the dark.”

So the blind man started off with the lantern. It wasn’t long before someone crashed into him, knocking him off balance. “Hey, you careless fellow!” cried the blind man. “Can’t you see this lantern?”

“Brother,” said the stranger, “Your lantern has gone out.”

Dear brothers and sisters, the meaning of this story is that we need light to protect us from every danger. Jesus is the light of the world. He gives us light in several ways: Bible reading, daily reflections, religious readings, wisdom words, etc.

Especially in this period of coronavirus pandemic, don’t let ourselves to be blinded with fear and anxiety but trust in the Lord: pray daily, read the scripture regularly, listen to the messages from our Pope, bishop and any words of wisdom that will lift us up and strengthen our souls.

Jesus in today’s gospel reading cures the blind man. This miracle of physical healing brings the blind man to the greater miracle, the gift of faith. This miracle enables him to fall on his knees and calls Jesus the Lord. When he was questioned by the Pharisees, he answered clearly that Jesus is a prophet. This man is a courageous man. He challenges the Pharisees telling
them that if Jesus was a sinner he would not have been able to cure him. Finally, when he meets Jesus again face to face, Jesus asks him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The man answers, “Tell me who he is, sir, so that I can believe in him!”

Jesus says, “You have already seen him, and he is the one who is talking with
you now.”

“I believe Lord!” the man replies and he falls on his knees before Jesus.  This is the climax of this story where the man makes the profession of faith,

“Lord, I believe.” This man has found the light of the world. He could see what the Pharisees didn’t see. The Pharisees had perfect eyesight, yet they had no faith in Jesus. It has been said that the greatest tragedy is not to be born blind, but to have eyes and yet fail to see. But there is an even worse situation: to have eyes and refuse to see.

St Paul said in the second reading, “You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us live as children of light. Let our faith shine through our act of love and goodness. Don’t let your hearts be blind by sins, but do what is right according to God’s will. Amen.

Fr Johan