4th Sunday of Lent-3/26/17
In the Gospel, the evangelist John develops the cure of the man born blind into a “sign” narrative. Focus is not the actual cure but on the drama that follows. It tells us who Jesus is and explores the meaning of sin.
Having revealed himself as “the light of the world” (John 8:12), Jesus now gives light to the blind man. In the commonly accepted theology of the time, God punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous. Blindness is thought to be a sign of God’s judgment. The disciples ask whose sin caused the man’s blindness, and the religious leaders tell the man that he was totally born blind.
Jesus denies that the blind man’s condition is the result of sin, and affirms that God’s works will be revealed in him. Jesus heals the man and creates “new sight” in him. This enables him not only to regain his sight but to recognize Jesus as a man sent by God, even if the Pharisees insist that the healer is an impostor. The man is thrown out of the synagogue, yet he persists in his belief, finally worshipping Jesus. This man who was born blind has come to real sight- he was able to see the true identity of Jesus.
Conversely, the blindness of the Pharisees is being exposed. They accuse the man of sin because of being born blind- and Jesus, too, because he cures on the Sabbath, a violation of the Mosaic Law. Jesus judges them that they are the ones truly blind- and sinful. Sin consists not in being born blind, but in refusing to believe even if one has seen and experienced the power of God at work- restoring sight to the blind or rendering one blind.
May we grow deeply in our faith, firmly believing and boldly proclaiming the true identity of Jesus- the Light of the world.