When we accidentally bump into something or someone, some people ask: “Are you blind? Can’t you see?” We get angry at these remarks because we believe we can see very well. Yet there are times we have to admit we are blind, that we don’t see as well as we should, that we don’t see the obvious, that we can’t see beyond the physical. May His Word open our eyes! Have an insightful Lenten weekend!
For all of us, after the frozen frostiness of this past Winter, who isn't looking forward to the Spring softening of hard, unyielding ground. There is something elemental, even primeval about mud. We instinctively recognize that moist, mushy earth is a sign of fruitfulness, fulfillment, and fun.
Jesus spits on the ground and "made mud with the salvia," an action that would delight all children, but was an absolute symbol of uncleanness and pollution to the reigning religious authorities. Blood, sweat, spit, all those "icky" human fluids were considered not just to be unattractive. They were deemed absolutely abhorrent and ritually unclean. Spittle was considered to be a pollutant, and even today, to spit upon someone is the ultimate sign of contempt.
But when Jesus encountered the man who was "born blind," an individual who had been "blind from birth," someone who had never received the gift of sight, he responds by spitting. We cannot know for sure whether this man had nothing in his eye sockets, just a cavernous hole, or whether his eyes were born deformed and defective. The fact that Jesus' action recreated the first act of creation, where God creates materiality out of mud, suggests the former, but it is only speculation.
What isn't speculation is that "in the beginning" God created the cosmos and the earth. Upon the earth the first priority was water in order for life to emerge. It was only after a stream of water rose up from the within the ground and watered "the whole face of the earth" (Genesis 2:6) that God gathered together the moistened dirt and "formed Adam" from the clay. The first "mud pie," made from the creative touch of the divine on clay, that simple combination of dirt and water, resulted in nothing less than the first human being.
The point of the story, and believe it or not there is one, is that we can become so involved in our own narrow interests that we miss the obvious. This Sunday’s Gospel illustrates the destructiveness of such narrowness. Jesus had just healed a blind man, "to let God's work shine forth." But by doing this he threatened the comfortable ordered life of the Jewish leaders. (Fr. Joseph Pellegrino)
1. " No matter how hard you try you cannot baptize a cat."
2. "When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair."
3. "Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato... or an egg."
4. "You can't trust dogs to watch your food for you."
5. "Don't sneeze when somebody is cutting your hair."
6. "School lunches stick to the wall."
7. "You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk."
8. "Never wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts... no matter how cute the underwear is."
On a much deeper level and on a much more positive level, that's precisely what we discover in this amazing story in John 9. A man blind from birth has a dramatic eye-opening experience with Jesus... and talk about new vision, talk about new insight... he is completely and totally healed. He is made whole and he comes back from the pool of Siloam with 20/20 vision,... able to see perfectly for the first time in his life. His transformation is so complete and so dramatic that he even looks a little different. The townspeople see him and say: "Hey, isn't that the blind beggar? He can see now. Is that him? No, it's just someone who looks like him. Couldn't be him," And the formerly blind man says: "It's me alright. I am the man."
Remember the story with me...
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I'm found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Our Lord, to our joy and to our sorrow, looks into our hearts and sees us as we really are. In Lent, that's a call for introspection: to confess that we have not loved our Lord with our whole hearts, nor loved our neighbors as ourselves.
What a Happy Soul
I am resolved that in this world, content I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't,
To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot and I won't."
The Creation of Braille
From Fr. Tony Kadavil:
Isn't wrinkled or drawn.
My house isn't dirty.
The cobwebs are gone.
My garden looks lovely,
And so does my lawn.
I think I might never
Put my glasses back on.
5. Blinded by prejudice:
4.Watson had missed the most obvious: