“Let nothing worry you. Let nothing make you fearful. God is with you. And so evil shall not come close to you. Let alone make you fearful. God alone suffices.” Saint Teresa of Avila
Today’s Gospel asks, ‘who is really blind?’ The beggar has been blind from birth. He is now an adult. He is a symbol of us all. We find ourselves existing. But what is the purpose of life? Is there any reason for my birth or is it an accident? What should I do with my life? What happens when I die? Is there anyone to whom I will have to give an account?
The list of questions goes on. No answers are given. We have to look for the answers ourselves. Different philosophies give different answers, like dropping a coin into a blind man’s begging bowl. Is there anyone who can give us sight?
Jesus puts clay on the blind man’s eyes and sends him to the pool of Siloam. He comes back with sight. He doesn’t know Jesus, only his name. His neighbors can’t believe their eyes and discuss whether he s the beggar or not. He settles the issue, ‘yes, I am’.
It was a Sabbath. ‘It is forbidden to make clay and put it on his eyes’. Yet something doesn’t strike his neighbors: never had a man born blind received sight by washing in Siloam. They are worried about breaking the Sabbath and take him to the Pharisees. They ask him how it happened. He tells them but they begin to argue among themselves. ‘He has broken the Sabbath. He must be a sinner’.
The man sees light after a lifetime of darkness. He can now see and keeps on repeating his story. When asked his opinion about Jesus, he draws the conclusion: ‘he is a prophet’. The Jewish authorities rather than agreeing prefer to deny the blindness. They call his parents. Weak and fearful as they are, they admit that he was blind. So, what to do now?
The authorities refuse to draw the obvious conclusion. They call the man again. They say, we know he is a sinner, but he sticks to his experience. He sees a prophet in Jesus. Seeing they can’t deny the evidence and not wishing to accept Jesus, they abuse him and ridicule him and throw him out.
Jesus looks for him. ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man’? He says; who is he Lord that I may believe in him’. “I am”, Jesus says. Then he falls down and worships Jesus.
He progressed from physical blindness through physical sight to spiritual sight and the adoration of Jesus as Lord. Whereas the authorities have passed from ‘sight’ as Moses’ disciples to spiritual blindness because ‘they hardened their hearts as at Meribah, as on the day of Massah in the desert.’
Have we ‘seen’ Jesus? Though we may have ‘faith’, have we met Jesus? Have you experienced Him? Have you experienced the opening of your eyes by Jesus? He says, “I am the light of the world.”
I have an earnest appeal in the context of the Epidemic of Corona Virus forcing the world ‘House arrest’ and ‘shut down’ of all community activities. Every department of Government, NGOs and Voluntary bodies are doing their might to fight against and protect people from its possible attack. The current 15 days are said to be very critical for the world. As Catholics we have, not only more responsibility but also more privilege to intercede through fervent prayer. As part of our spiritual contribution we should contribute our mite by praying for the world, for our Nation, our Diocese and our Parish.
“Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease. We should also remember those whose lives have been otherwise disrupted, especially anyone who has lost income from a loss of work during this difficult time.”