Jesus Healing the Blind Man
                                                                                    March 10, 2024

                                                                                                                        Fr. Josť Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B.
                                                                                                                                                                           Pastor of the Church of St. Peter
                                                                                                                                                                                North St. Paul, Minnesota

Sunday Reading Meditations

Jesus cured a man who had been blind since birth from his blindness.  It is hard to imagine the extraordinary experience that the man had!  For the very first time, he saw colors, faces, sky and clouds, trees and bids.  How different the world was after his encounter with Jesus!

People were amazed at what happened to him!  However, many did not believe: "His neighbors and the people who used to see him before, when he was a beggar, said, 'Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"  Some said, 'Yes, it is the same one.'  Others said, 'No but he looks like him'  The man himself said, 'I am the one'"  (Jn 9:8-9).  They could not accept that Jesus had performed a miracle, that God was present in him.  There is a similar prejudice in the modern culture that does not accept that God intervenes in real history, relegating the divine to the sphere of subjectivity.

When the man who was born blind was brought to the Pharisees, their position became evident.  They did not look at him attentively.  They asked the man many times: "What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?"  He replied, 'I have told you once and you wouldn't listen'" (Jn 9:26-27).  They were not listening.  They ignored the miracle.  They had already decided that it was impossible for Jesus to have cured the man.

The position of the formerly blind man was very different.  When the Pharisees said to him that Jesus was a sinner and the miracle was impossible, he only answered: "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know, all I know is that I was blind and now I can see" (Jn 9:25).  The man born blind answered by relating his own experience.  He does not have any theory about Jesus.  The only thing he knows is what happened to him. The man born blind was faithful to what happened to him.  He was a free man before the power of the Pharisees, who banned him from the synagogue.  It is our personal experience of Jesus and our experience of accomplishment in our lives that allow us to be free before any kind of power.  We are free if we retain the memory of what we have found.

In the second reading, Saint Paul says: "You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord" (Eph 5:8).  A miracle also happened to us.  We also passed from the darkness to light, as did the blind man.  When did it happen to us?  It happened to us on the day of our baptism.  However, our blindness persists.  It is hard for us to see Jesus present in our lives.  We participate in a secular mentality that does not accept God as someone who is close to us.  Certainly, we all believe in God. However, there are so many time when we live as if He did not exist or, at least, we consider him as secondary.  Our interests come first.

Why does this happen?  Perhaps, it is because we think that if we let God enter our lives more, we'd risk losing something.  Basically, we feel that God is against us.  This suspicion began with our first parents in Paradise.

We heard in the first reading that David was chosen and anointed by God.  He was preferred and loved by God.  We too, were anointed at our baptism.  We constantly need to rediscover the grace of our baptism.  It is Jesus' love, his preference, which makes it possible to conquer all the darkness that persists in our lives. Jesus' love for us is what heals our blindness.  With him, we can discover the light that gives color and joy to everything.  It is the experience of the encounter with Christ here and now that reawakens the grace of our baptism in us.