Meditations and Prayers for Lent and Easter

The Fourth Sunday of Lent: The Man Born Blind

Meditations and Prayers for the Fourth Week of Lent: A Cycle and RCIA
by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
John 9:1-41
Jesus heals the man born blind

This is a dramatic gospel, not only because of the miracle, but also because of the heated exchanges and clever dialogue that follow it. Besides Jesus and his disciples, the blind man himself, his parents and neighbors and a divided group of Pharisees all interact vigorously in the story.

Unlike others, this blind man did not approach Jesus. Rather, Jesus approached him. And remarkably, the miracle did not just restore the man’s sight. Blind from birth, he never before had the power to see.

Could he represent those who can do nothing for themselves? Nothing at all, except wait for the power of God?

At the sight of the woebegone beggar, Jesus’ disciples wondered: did he do something to deserve it? Some sin he or his parents had committed?

No, Jesus replied. “He was born blind so that God’s power might be displayed in curing him.”

It was Jesus’ message always: God’s power belongs to the poor. Scarcely using that power for himself, he brought Good News to them. God’s power — healing, restoring, creating — belonged to the blind man and others like him. And so he spent himself for them.

So too he advised his disciples “to carry on while daylight lasts the work of him who sent me.”

You must not pass by the poor or only speculate about them. Work for their good so that the power of God may come upon them. And the power of God will come upon you too, for the poor will bless you with a blessing found nowhere else.

O Jesus,
light of the world,
why were you born,
and why did you die
in such obscurity?

Bethlehem was hardly a shining place,
the stable
hardly a burning stand
for Light come into the world.

Was not Calvary too
an ending place
for life and light;
And would not a cross
in the afternoon sky,
turn all eyes away?

Blind man,
did your eyes turn away too?
Or were you
so accustomed to the dark
as to see what others could not see?

For once,
it was not long ago,
Someone seeing you all in darkness
touched your eyes
and told you to wash
until you saw God’s glory
shining through your beggar’s clothes.

And you believed,
no one could stop you,
or explain it all away,
you believed.

May the Passion of Jesus Christ Be Always in Our Hearts

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