The Fourth Sunday of Lent
1 Sm 16:1B, 6-7, 10-13A; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41 (Year A)
“You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of the light. Wake up from your sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Paul’s description of the Christian life as a journey from darkness into light captures the rising hope that leads us ever closer to Holy Week and the celebration of Easter. On Ash Wednesday we were called to repentance, an acknowledgment of the darkness that blinds us to the presence of God. To a people easily swayed by appearances, the prophet Samuel warned that ‘‘God does not see as man sees; man looks to appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’’
Throughout the Scriptures blindness describes the darkness that sin chooses for itself. It hides not only from God, but from the truth about itself. Thus Paul exhorts us to have nothing to do with the futile works of darkness, to surrender ourselves to Christ, in whose light alone our darkness is transformed.
St John’s account of the healing of the man born blind is the revelation of Christ as the Light of the World. “As long as the day lasts I must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
Jesus is, in the words of John’s prologue, the light that shines in the darkness, a light that the darkness could not overcome. He is the sure hope for every sinner, bringing light to our darkness. Only one thing is necessary, that we, together with the man born blind, should entrust ourselves to him. “Jesus heard that they had driven away the man born blind, and when he found him, he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and worshipped him.”
During the days ahead may we wake from our sleep, rise from all that has died within us, and rejoice in Christ as the Light of the world.
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