The period of enlightenment
The theme of blindness, so prominent in today’s readings, continues the Lenten tradition of preparing for the Easter baptisms. It is not coincidental that this period of the liturgical year is referred to as the Period of Purification and Enlightenment.
Blindness, as attributed to the man born blind from birth in our gospel today, is a fitting image of the human condition we now know as original sin. John tells the story of the man’s cure by Jesus in a way that reveals who it is that is truly blind: those who stubbornly refuse to accept Jesus as the light of the world. Social sin is not the same as original sin, but flows from it, and is the accumulation of human choices to turn away from the light. The dramatic unfolding of John’s story gives eloquent expression to the way individuals in a community compound their blindness. Everyone gets involved: the man’s neighbors, his family, those have seen him begging, the Pharisees, the evil spread like cancer until in an act the man is expelled from the synagogue for acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah.
God’s choice of David over his other brothers, as told in the First Book of Samuel, speak of our own inability to see spiritual truth as God sees it. David is portrayed as the least likely to be the candidate for divine election. God sees into the heart and directs the prophet to choose and anoint the young David and consecrate him to be shepherd of God’s people as king. The blindness of those around David to his potential as God’s chosen leader speaks of how sin can blind us to God’s will for us.
As we gather today, we ask God to let His light penetrate the darkness of our lives, shining forth in goodness, righteousness and truth. We seek His light and long to become children of His light, good and pleasing in His sight.
Just as Jesus opens the eyes of the blind man to the wonders of belief in God’s Son, God call us from our ordinary life an opens our eyes, through baptism and the other sacraments, to insight into his mighty works. God call on us to believe, to worship and to follow the footsteps of His Son. God call us to new life, to become children enlightened by the light of God.