Tìm Kiếm

31 tháng 3, 2014

Homily for the IV Sunday of Lent - Year A (March 30, 2014)

Jesus cures a man blind from birth
(Jn 9: 1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38)

Every time Christ performed a miracle of curing a sick person, he stirred up a dispute with the Pharisees, the reason being that Christ did the miracle on the sabbath. This time, however, after the healing of a blind man from birth, the dispute did not happen between Christ and the Pharisees,  but among the Pharisees themselves, and between the blind man and the Pharisees.

The blind man said : “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.”  But other Pharisees argued :”How can a sinful man do such signs?”  Unable to settle the dispute among themselves, the Pharisees turn to the blind man and ask him again :” How did he open your eyes?” The blind man said angrily :” I told you already. He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see. If this man were not from God, how could he do such a miracle, how could he restore my sight?”  Not able to answer the question of the blind man, the Pharisees threw him out!

My dear brothers and sisters,

From this story, we can see how obstinacy and prejudice could blind people, making them unable to see the truth, even when the truth is as clear as daylight. The Pharisees witnessed many Christ’s miracles with their own eyes, yet they did not believe him, because they had prejudice against him, because they have become blind, not physically but mentally and spiritually. And this blindness of heart is incurable and unforgivable, being a sin against the Holy Spirit, as Christ once said : ”All sins can be forgiven, but sins against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven.” People who are obstinate in their disbelief become even more obstinate when they come into contact with the truth!

Meanwhile, the blind man –illiterate as he was – was able to see, not only other things and the people around him, but Christ himself, and come to believe him as a prophet and Savior. 

A young woman was in charge of the Youth Movement here in HCM City. Her duty was to gather young people, especially students, to listen to her political talks every Sunday. She was angry to see many young Catholics going to mass on Sundays. One day she asked a Catholic :”Is there anything so attractive at the church that you have to go there every Sunday? I will go to see for myself.” She went to a Catholic church near the Youth Center. After the mass, she came back saying rather sarcastically : “ I don’t see anything interesting there. Just non-sense : sitting down, standing up, saying Amen, Amen!”

Indeed, as colors, pictures, videos and flowers are non-sense to the blind, but a great enjoyment to all of us who have good eyes, so faith and religion might be non-sense to the spiritually blind, to atheists, but a great joy and happiness to those who believe in God.

May the light of Christ continue to shine our journey of faith here on earth and strengthen our belief and love for God.

Fr. Joseph Nguyen, O.P.