March 22nd: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Dear Parish Family,
Pray, trust, and take the next step. Certain things simply have to unfold. Look at the depths of vision the man born blind receives in the Gospel today. He receives his physical sight in an instant with just a little obedience. Our Lord spits on the ground, makes some clay, smears it on the man’s eyes, and gives him a simple command, which the man follows, and his physical sight is restored. Incredible! But this fast acting miracle is only the beginning of the deeper and longer lasting sight. Our Lord disappears from the scene for most of today’s Gospel while the man goes through a good deal of testing and trial, gradually growing in his sight into who Jesus Christ really is. The man who was born blind has impressive faith. Notice that from the beginning he does not make demands; in fact, he doesn’t even make a request. The disciples ask and Our Lord takes the initiative to heal him. After the miracle, the questioning comes to him—he’s neither looking to pick a fight nor even to evangelize. And yet, just like he was docile to our Lord from the beginning and received his physical sight, he continues to be calm under pressure, weathering interrogation and insult from the Pharisees, and all the while recognizing more and more that the one who took the initiative to help him in the first place won’t abandon him, even if his parents fret about the outcome of such questioning. Most of us today have our physical sight, but we all could Use a good dose of the trust in the loving presence of Jesus Christ demonstrated by this man born blind. We often wants signs, proof, unmistakable evidence that the love of God is living and effective. However, that is not how it typically works, and certainly not on our schedule. We do not make demands of God. We prayerfully move forward with our Lord. We learn each day that He will not abandon us. Sometimes, there are moments of brilliant, enlightening radiance in which we see clearly, as if for the first time that His loving hand is present and that He is guiding us on. Sometimes, His presence is less obvious, merely the almost unrecognizable background music that is tying things together without so much as a notice. How do we learn to faithfully keep taking the next step in trust without fear or anxiety? Prayer. Each and everyday is the time to lift our minds and hearts to our Lord in humble adoration and trust. Do not tempt the Lord your God. Do not demand of Him who laid down His life on the cross for you that He prove His love by signs and wonders. Rather, spend time with Him each day and move forward, one day at a time, with loving trust. Then, just like the man born blind, you will see as that our Lord is there, in good times and in bad, leading us deeper and deeper into His love as long as we have the faithful trust to take the next step. Keep praying. Keep trusting in Him. And all the while remember, we may not know exactly what is coming next, but we know Him.
God bless you all
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG