4th Sunday of Lent Year A - 30/3/2014 - Gospel: Jn 9:1-41
The ancient world was more concerned about spiritual and eternal life while the modern world shows more concern about consumption and pleasure. The former tried hard to avoid vices at all cost because they believed vices caused sickness of the body and sin for the souls; the later sees a number of ancient world vices as some forms of arts and are good for entertainment. The commercialism and consumerism know that any kind of abuse of substances, drugs and alcohol harm our physical body at any age but they refuse to recognize them as vices. The new teaching that Jesus taught seemed to suggest that mind, heart and spiritual life are important and we need to take good care of them all. Restoring the sight of the blind man from birth indicates His new teaching.

The blind man from birth raises the question of what caused the blindness. One group says that it is the direct result of the sin of the parent; other group says the parent takes no blame but it is the sin of that person. There was no explanation of how an unborn baby would sin when it was in the womb. The disciples of Jesus questioned Him about this and His answer surprised them because of His new teaching.  Instead of addressing the cause of the man's blindness Jesus shifted the focus to something else. He spoke about the goodness of God and of His mission. The former, goodness of God was to erase the suffering of those who call to God for help and the latter, His mission that the Prophet Isaiah had prophesised about His mission and that He was to give sight and to give light to people who live in darkness.

The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me.... to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord's year favour Luke 4,18

The parable where Jesus gave sight to the blind man reveals to us several points that are worthy of mention.

First it opens the eyes of those who would like to see the love and goodness of God for the world.

Second it strengthens and deepens the faith of those who follow Him.

Third it demonstrates the power of God working through Jesus and accompanying His teaching.

Fourth it tells us that His mission is not His own but of the Father who sent Him.

The blind man suffered from his blindness for such a long time but after Jesus gave him sight his joy was so great that he jumped for joy praising God on top of his voice. The sight he had received now opened his eyes to see the greatness of God. Suffering is a bad thing and we all want to avoid it but not all of suffering is bad, such as, there is no life without the pain of giving birth. When it is liberated by the joy it brings it is much greater than the pain a person has endured.

Having the sight to see the man born blind meets another kind of suffering, being interrogated by the authorities and the denial of his parents to enjoy his new life. It is confirming to those who are faithful to Jesus that that being true disciples we are not free from our troubles but we shouldn't let them control us and so we let Jesus liberates it for us.