Mass & Directions

Sunday March 22nd: Fourth Sunday of Lent

St. Francis Parish | March 22, 2020, 4:35 am | Reflections

   In today’s Gospel from John 9:1-41 we hear of Jesus healing a Blind Man.  This man, who had been blind from birth, was believed to have sinned or perhaps have parents that sinned as the disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, ‘neither he nor his parents sinned.'”  As the Gospel continues, Jesus, “making clay from saliva…smeared it onto his (the blind man’s) eyes.”  Jesus tells him to “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam”.  Doing as Jesus said, he came back able to see.  Later, some men who witnessed what had happened brought the man to the Pharisees.  As they questioned him, the Pharisees argued amongst themselves that Jesus could not be from God as He did not observe the Sabbath.  Others felt that anyone who can do such things must be from God.
   In this Gospel we are given multiple examples of blindness.  The first is obvious in the actual physical blindness the man had carried since birth.  We also have the disciples as they were stuck in the belief that this man’s blindness was somehow caused by his sin or the sin of his parents, even despite the amount of time they had already spent with Jesus.  Additionally, we have the blindness of the Pharisees as they were so stuck in their rules that they could not see God working right in front of them.  Now we know that the man was cured of his blindness.  We can presume that the disciples were also cured of their blindness, if not at the time, certainly at some point on their journey with Jesus.  However, many of the Pharisees do not seem to have been able to see through their spiritual blindness as they ultimately, “threw him out”, presumably meaning he was expelled from the synagogue.
   While we struggle with the sudden change of not physically being in the presence of the Most Holy Eucharist or Blessed Sacrament, we must take care that we too do not become blind to Jesus’ presence among us in many other ways.  As we cope and adjust to these temporary changes in our parish, we are also learning to adjust with how we go about our daily lives.  Many things we have taken for granted are slowly changing.  Grocery stores have struggled to keep their shelves stocked.  Businesses are being asked to change the way they operate or worse temporarily close resulting in employees having wages reduced or losing their jobs altogether.  Taking it all in, we could easily allow ourselves to fall into despair but being Catholic, we always have hope.
   As we see more of what we are used to suddenly being taken away, we can sense an increase in appreciation for what we still have.  Though we are not able to receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass, we still have Jesus working in our lives.  He has not abandoned us and He is certainly not bound within the Tabernacle.  He is all around us.  Perhaps our focus was just a bit too fixed or maybe we have gotten too used to knowing where to find Him that we stopped seeing Him working in so many other ways.  Whatever the case may be, now that we have broadened our view, we are privy to the splendor of all His glorious works.  Just as the Blind Man said in today’s Gospel, “I was blind and now I see”.  Thank you Lord for opening our eyes.
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