Homily for 4th Sunday of Lent 2012
I am not going to burden you with another story since we just have heard a narration of a very long story. It is a story of a blind man who has been touched personally (made a spittle, put this over the eyes of the man) by Jesus himself and whose life has changed forever. He has encountered the Lord and because of that superb experience, no one can persuade him that his experience is just an illusion. And because of his overwhelming experience- being born blind and now can see the light as clear as the day, he couldn’t deny the truth about Jesus. Instead he recalled it with courage and conviction to anyone, even to the Pharisees and to other Jewish authorities. He wasn’t afraid anymore. He wasn’t thinking anymore of his past life being a blind beggar on the streets and one who has no right to lecture to the Jewish authorities. Philip Yancey (a Protestant writer) is right ‘No one who meets Jesus remains the same.’ This is so true for this man in our story. This is also our story.
In more ways than one, we are blind in sin. But Jesus saw us. He came to touch us personally by becoming one like us. As he told the blind man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam (means ‘sent’; i.e. Christ himself), he also told us to be baptized so as to be able to see the light that he brings and the light that he is. Being sent therefore means to go and tell others about the love that God has for us. And like the blind man, we are invited to retell, to re-call it, to re-live it with courage and conviction.
This is what we are called to do as we continue our Lenten journey. It is only typically Christian, that we have this Lenten and Holy week observance. So let’s be proud of it. Let’s express this unique Christian experience to all people around us. We might just be having a hot cross buns with them but we are not to forget the reason behind this Lenten season- that we are friends of God, and that God has laid down his very life for us his friends.
Yes, like the blind man, we can also be driven out of the synagogue. If we claim and assert our Christianity in public especially in Australia, we can really expect a sort of rejection, exclusion, or even an attempt to be silenced. But we can find consolation in our gospel today: ‘Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him…’Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ Apparently Jesus himself seeks the man and confirmed his faith in Him. So also if we feel being rejected, ridiculed, excluded by virtue of our Christian belief, let’s remember always, Christ seeks for us, affirms our faith and confirms it as well.
And it is also good to remember always that only Christ is the light to whom we must look up to. In our time and age, there are many different lights that persuade us to go through this way and that. The evil one is real and he can present like the angel of the light. Our first Reading today would help us to tackle with this: to turn to God who does not rely on appearances but on what is in the heart and to trust in him. If we have Christ as the light in our life, we then can savour the effects of this light: which is complete goodness, right living and (living in) the truth as St Paul writes in our Second Reading today. St Ambrose would add that ‘all who are blind are able to see, so long as [Jesus Christ] is the light [we] are looking for. This is a wonderful assurance if we just keep up with Jesus.