Normally March 19th is the feast of Saint Joseph. The great feast day is moved to tomorrow, the 20th, so we can continue on our Lenten journey. May Patrick and Joseph be our guides.
Our gospel story today is about the man born blind and his cure. It is the fourth of the five great Lenten stories, the gospel accounts of
1 - the temptation of Jesus,
2 - the Transfiguration,
3 - the woman at the well,
4 - today’s story of the man born blind, and
5 - the raising of Lazarus from the dead, offer us a basic catechism about Christian living.
Can you pick out a line from those stories to reflect on? For me, I got:
1 - “Get behind me , Satan.”
2 - “Do not be afraid.”
3 - “Give me living water.”
4 - “Go wash in the Pool.”
5 – “Lazarus, come out.”
Hopefully, in today’s homilies I can stretch out a little of what’s going on between Jesus and the leaders of the temple. I suspect one aspect that challenges me is dealing with legalisms that keep us from seeing the truth, or if we see the truth, then being able to act on it.
The blind man’s parents were caught in a total no-win situation, and perhaps to inject a current phrase into a biblical story, they were simply engaging in seri¬ous CYA activity. We just don’t understand how seri¬ous it would have been for anyone in the time of Jesus to have been thrown out of the temple. It was social and economic ostracism at its worst.
A most encouraging scene for me was Jesus going and looking for the cured blind man after the authorities threw him out of the temple. Imagine hearing Jesus say that the Son of Man is the one speaking with you. Talk about getting your sight AND your insight kicked up a notch.
We still have three weeks until Easter to clean up our acts. In terms of “giving up things for Lent,” have you seen these suggestions from Pope Francis?
Boy, what a blessing it would be to “fast” like this. I think just slowly reading this list through may help me a lot in being more sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings.
P. S. Our heartfelt prayers and thanks go with Patrick O’Dea as he moves to Spain this week. Vaya con Dios y sus santos!