Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Light of The World

BEADS OF JOY 03-30-14
“The Light of The World”
©2014 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
4th Sunday of Lent
Today's Gospel: John 9:1-41 (The Man Born Blind) As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, "Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?" Some said, "It is he"; others said, "No, but he is like him." He said, "I am the man." They said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, `Go to Siloam and wash'; so I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know." They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was a division among them. So they again said to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself."  His parents said this because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him." So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered, "Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you too want to become his disciples?" And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man answered, "Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.  Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you." He said, "Lord, I believe"; and he worshiped him. Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, `We see,' your guilt remains.”

My Friends,
Today’s Gospel reading is rather incredible in many ways. Notice immediately that this miracle takes up all of chapter nine and that John was the one personally recording it. Just prior to this healing just one chapter back Jesus says something that almost shines upon this most incredible miracle today. Look back at Matthew 8:12 scripture says the following, “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Today Jesus (The light of the World) stands before this blind man to heal him; and in the fifth verse Jesus Himself reflects upon His own words saying, “…I am the light of the world.” Thus today this blind man will be taken from the darkness of his life and brought into the light of Jesus; the true light of the world.
Consider these simple thoughts today: Do we recognize when the true light of God stands directly in our midst? Do we see Him as He stands before us, with us and through us as we do and say the work of our Lord? What obstacles do we have in our life -that always get in the way of our view of Him? Rather, what obstacles do we allow, might be a more precise question? Sin is a horrible distractor, it not only binds us and keep us from spending time with Jesus; but it also blinds us from the light God has given to us through Jesus. The spiritual wisdom and spiritual strength we have in our life come directly from the light of God.
When we allow sin to consume us -it clouds up our view, confusing us as it misleads us. Many say, “This sin isn’t that bad, what harm am I doing.” Or maybe sadly we don’t even acknowledge that it is indeed sin, maybe venial, maybe mortal; either way that darkness and inability to see the light of Jesus blinds us and so many continue to sin. Only through Jesus are we able to uncover that darkness and free ourselves from having to be blind anymore.
On another tangent to all this might I suggest these thoughts: This man was BORN blind; and in that -obviously God allowed that…why??? Might we consider this, the same way that Lazarus’ death was looked upon by Jesus Himself? Let us look at John 11:4, “Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Many people have illnesses, sicknesses, diseases, challenges; literally countless things many consider a hindrance or handicap. Why not for the sake of today’s gospel see these noted challenges as a BLESSING; so that through them, through us, we might Glorify God.

Here are some blessed quotes to reflect upon:

“It is not enough to take the cross in our hands and kiss it.  We must carry it.” ~St. John Bosco

“In the lights of the Cross, suffering becomes sacred.” ~Pope Paul VI
“In all the miracles of healing performed by Our Divine Savior, we must admire the remarkable goodness which caused Him to heal first the sickness of the soul, then that of the body. He teaches us the great lesson that we must first purify our consciences before turning to God for help in our earthly needs.” ~St John Bosco
“Blessed be He, Who came into the world for no other purpose than to suffer.” ~St. Teresa of Avila

“The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more we sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.” ~St. Isidore of Seville

“In the same way that a powerful medicine cures an illness, so illness itself is a medicine to cure passion. And there is much profit of soul in bearing illness quietly and giving thanks to God.” ~St. Amma Syncletice

“When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.” ~St. Sebastian Valfre

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Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS

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