4th Sunday of Lent Year A - 22/3/2020 - Gospel: Jn 9, 1. 6-9. 13-17. 34-38
Sight and blindness
The healing of the man born blind affirms that Jesus is the light for the world. In healing the man blind from birth, Jesus wanted to change a strong belief. He knew it is something else, not sin, that causes a baby's health deficiency from birth. His apostles raised the question, whose sin was it the man himself or his parents, that caused him to be blind? Jesus corrected them by telling them, that it is neither his own sin nor his parents' sin, but it is through his sickness that Jesus shows God's love, and glory to the world. (v. 3). Jesus' work and that of his Father are inseparable. He is the light for the world, and through him God's love and mercy enlighten those who have faith in him. Human beings suffer, and the exact cause is hard to identify. Jesus gives no answer for human suffering, but showed that those who turn to God, will have hope in their suffering. God is in their midst, drawing them closer to Himself. Denying the reality of our suffering makes the problem worse, but recognizing it, and asking for God's grace to endure it, works best. In giving sight to the blind man, Jesus fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah prophesied about Him.

To open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon. Is. 42,7

Using His saliva and clay to heal the blind man, Jesus reminds us of how the first human being was made. In this context, Jesus reshaped the blind man's life. He heard Jesus before seeing Him. Jesus touched him and healed him. Jesus commanded him to wash himself at the pool of Siloam. The act of going into and emerging from the water is a part of our baptism ceremony. It also reminds us of the power of the living water Jesus gave to the Samaritan at the well.

When the Pharisees questioned him, the blind man became a bold witness for Jesus. He knew Jesus healed him, but had a very vague idea who Jesus was. The man was humble and honest  in contrast to his interrogators, who claimed to see but actually could not see; to know but really they did not know. It was not their eyes' sight that failed them in seeing Jesus, but their arrogance failed them. They were unable to recognize Jesus, the Messiah. Having sight from Jesus the blind man was in the spot light, confronted by the authorities. The Pharisees charged Jesus for breaking the Sabbath laws. They failed to know, that they themselves had broken the Sabbath laws by interrogating and judging the man. They failed to make the man take their side; they drove him out of their community. They then went on to see his parents. The man's parents were afraid of being driven out of the community. They confirmed the blind man was their own son, but how, and who gave him sight they said they didn't know. They refused to get involved, citing he was old enough to handle the case himself.

The blind man first identified Jesus as the prophet, and then confessed, Jesus came from God. He challenged the Pharisees and then factions happened. Some believed the man's testimony that Jesus came from God; others opposed. The man himself was being truthful, and consistent during his trial, that Jesus gave him sight and  His healing power came from God. Jesus, learning that he had been driven out of the synagogue, found the man and welcomed him into the community of believers. The man confessed he believed that Jesus is the 'Son of Man' and worshipped Him.