4th Sunday of Lent Year A - 19/3/2023 - Gospel: John 9:1-41
The story of a man born blind from birth is the story of a man who had found faith in Jesus. After professing Jesus as his Lord, he becomes the victim of the faith in which he believes. Being confronted by the local synagogue's authority, he fearlessly gives witness to Jesus. Because of his faith in Jesus; the authorities excommunicate him from his own community. Later on, Jesus found the man and asks him if he believed in the Son of Man. The man replied that he believed in Jesus, but had not yet seen him. Jesus told the man,

'You are looking at him; he is speaking to you'.

The man replied,

'Lord, I believe, and worshipped him'. Jn 9,37.

Blindness prevents the man from seeing Jesus, but not from hearing Jesus. His faith in Jesus is demonstrated through his conformance. Jesus put a paste on his eyes and asked him to go and wash at the Pool of Siloam. He washed and he could see clearly. There is a connection between sin and spiritual blindness; because sin creates a smoke screen, that blurs our spiritual eyes to see the truth. There is a link between human substance consumption and birth deficiency. Being born with a physical disability is not the direct result of sin as people believe. Jesus told his disciples that it is not the blind man's own sin nor that of his parents; but that through his blindness, God's glory is being proclaimed.

After being healed, the man becomes a new person that confuses his people. Some say that it is someone who looks like him; others say it is him. The man himself asserts: I am the man. This assertion lands him in deep trouble. The Pharisees and Jews question him at length. They come to the pre-conceived judgment that whoever healed him can't be a good man. This causes a division amongst them. They argue that a person who performs such a miracle must be God's agent. The man himself proclaimed that Jesus is a prophet. The authority fails to get the answer they want from the blind man; they turned to his parents in the hope of achieving a favourable answer. His parents accept the reality; that he is our son, who was blind from birth. However, out of fear, they denied knowing how he was healed. They reply; we don't know. He is an adult, ask him. Again, the authority fails to get the answer they want. They interrogate the man again. Having told the whole story for a second time; the man accuses the authority of lacking listening skills. He wonders: you can't listen to the voice of a man; how can you listen to God's voice? What stops you from becoming his disciples? The man challenges the authority. They turned to violence, by hurling the man out of the synagogue, and then declaring that they don't know where Jesus came from. This statement alone confirms the man's opinion; that the authorities lack listening skills. It also underlines that they are spiritually blind.

It is interesting to notice to some identical ideas between Jesus and the man. The first one is self-identification. The man tells the public: 'I am the man'. Jesus told the man: You are looking at him, he is talking to you. Jesus confirms the man can see, and hear.

The second one is the man's opinion about authority. 'I have told you once, and you wouldn't listen'; while Jesus told them they are spiritually blind. 'It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight turn blind.

The third identical idea happens between Jesus and the Pharisees. They judged the man,

'Are you trying to teach us,...You are a sinner through and through, since you were born' Jn 9,34;

while Jesus told them, 'Since you say 'We see', your guilt remains'. Jn 9,49.

The Pharisees fail to see the miracle. Instead, they only see darkness. Without accepting of deficiency, change is impossible. The blind man accepts his blindness and is ready for the change; the Pharisees deny their spiritual blindness; and darkness rules.