Destined and chosen to show God’s glor
1. ✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to John(9:1-41) 4th Sunday of Lent
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam”—which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is, “ but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.”
They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “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 others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
2. The first reading (1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a) and the gospel present us with two personalities that were chosen by God to play roles that ordinarily would not have been given to them. David, the last born of eight brothers was chosen to be a king when even his family had considered it unnecessary to invite him to the ceremony, being sure that he should not be the chosen one. God choses the weak to make them strong. This same experience is seen in the gospel. A man, blind from birth and considered as a dependent beggar turned out to become a bold defender of Jesus before the powerful religious authorities of the time. When the disciples saw the blind man, they presumed that his blindness was a punishment for a sin committed in his family. Jesus had to explain to them that God can put some people under disadvantages not because of their sins but because he intends to use them to show his glory.
3. Jesus, a man unknown to the blind beggar rubbed clay on his eyes and told him to go and wash so that he can see. He obeyed and his sight was restored. The religious leaders then subjected him to series of trial to convince him that Jesus was a bad man. He outrightly told them that Jesus is a prophet, a righteous person because he could not have done the miracle if he is not in good terms with God for God does not hear the prayer of sinners. The religious leaders who were bent on tarnishing the image of Jesus claimed the miracle did not take place and summoned the parents of the blind man. These were too afraid to speak up for Jesus. But the blind man stood his ground even when he knew that they would expel him from the community. They abused him, called him a sinner and finally expelled him from the community.
4. When Jesus heard of the punishment he looked for him and found him. During the encounter the man proclaimed his faith in Jesus and worshipped him as the son of God. Here was a man who was taken as being under curse for a sin. He alone among all the people stood up to defend Jesus and readily accepted being excluded from the people for the sake of standing his ground for his conviction. He is the stone rejected by the builders which has become a cornerstone. His mission was fully accomplished, the purpose of his being born blind is fully realized. He has fearlessly borne witness to the truth.
5. In this man we can learn how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is called to defend his convictions about God before any opposing force. He should not fear losing his privileges when it comes to defending his faith. Today there are many oppositions to the faith and those who are supposed to answer back are busy defending their privileges. They do not care to speak up when the faith is ridiculed before them. The man born blind challenges us not to be intimidated by the powerful people who would wish to destroy our faith with their ideologies. Today our children have become the targets of many godless ideas, enforced surreptitiously through the educational curriculum, officially designed by the State with the purpose of planting new cultures in the children. There is a conscious effort by some powerful groups to remove God from the society, break the commandments of God and forge a new sexual morality where children are formed to accept sin as virtue. People write to ridicule the belief in God and the practice of Christianity. They pretend that Christianity is the cause underdevelopment in Africa. Many christians do not agree with such thesis but unlike the man born blind, they are afraid to speak out. They do not want to be seen as conservative.
6. Know that Jesus cannot abandon you if you stand your ground to defend your belief in him. When the man born blind was expelled from the synagogue Jesus looked for him. Do not be afraid to speak up for your faith even when surrounded by powerful enemies. Always remember whose disciple you are. A Chadian lady was asked to replace the name of Christ with another name during a swearing in ceremony for a post in the government. She refused. She was asked to leave the ceremony and she accepted without saying a word. As she was leaving the President of the republic called her back to recite the formula according to her faith. I was proud of her. She shamed the devil and God did not abandon her. You too can shame the devil. Remember the words of Jesus: “whoever denies me before men I will deny before my Father in heaven.”(Mt 10:33) You have been called and chosen. Work harder to justify you call (2Pt1:10) as David and the man born blind did. @Vita, 19/03/23.
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