A LENTEN REFLECTION “RIGHT VISION” By Deacon Mike Madison
The Elect participated in their second Scrutiny last Sunday on their journey to the Easter Vigil where they will complete their Sacraments of Initiation, receiving Confirmation and their first Eucharist. One of them will be baptized as well. They continue to have their eyes and hearts opened as they prepare for these sacraments. The Gospel from John was The Man Born Blind where Jesus heals a man blind from birth and is challenged by the Pharisees for doing this act. The Pharisees did not have right vision.
They did not comprehend their own blindness, caused by their self-righteousness. They believed: that if you have an infirmity or sickness, it must be because of sin; that if you heal on the Sabbath, it is considered working when you should be resting; that if you cure the blind, you have played a trick because curing blindness is impossible. Because of their vision, or lack of vision, they miss the Messiah standing right in front of them, healing a blind man thought to be a sinner and therefore outcast, on the Sabbath no less, doing the seemingly impossible! Doing only what God can do! What blindness they had!
Jesus is demonstrating to the Pharisees and his disciples AND US TOO that this view is wrong. Therefore, because they do not understand this he says, their sin remains because they are blind to Him and His ways. The disciples are beginning to get it just as Jesus’ mission on earth nears the end.
Like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel we see life through our own lens. Sometimes we do not have right vision either. What rules or cultural norms blind us of the Word of God? What preconceived ideas keep us from healing others who need a helping hand or a kind word or just a moment of our time to listen? What “rules” of the Church keep us from understanding their purpose to guide us on our journey to salvation? What does a society which promotes the individual do to discourage community life? What actions by a few men of the clergy keep us from our focus on Jesus Christ our savior? What scriptural teaching do we contemplate on Sunday and then forget that we are charged with going into the world to be Christ-like to others, living the Gospel message every day?
Fortunately, we have something the Pharisees did not: we have the gift of the sacraments. The sacramental grace which draw us toward Jesus, getting to know Him better, reminding us we are His if only we can see the love which He has for us. The sacraments help our right vision. The sacraments heal our blindness.
Right vision, the sight of Jesus, comes from that sacramental grace. The sight of Jesus which allows us right vision through our eyes, our spirit, our heart and even our ears. It enters us at Baptism. It is reinforced at Confirmation. It shows us mercy at Reconciliation. It heals us at Anointing of the Sick. It enriches our vocation at Marriage and or Holy Orders. And it nourishes us at the Eucharist. What gifts we have been given to strengthen our sight, if only we use them, letting them work on us to strengthen our vision.
We are closer to Easter Sunday, but there is still time in Lent to purify and enlighten ourselves just as the Elect are doing. May we continue to have our eyes and hearts opened from the blindness of sin as we prepare for the glory of Jesus’ Resurrection. Jesus is the Light of the World. May He shine His light on all of us, especially the Elect, so that we may have right vision to see the way He does.