Blindness to Sight to Faith

Scripture     John 9:1-41


Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him,

he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?|

He answered, "And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.

Jesus said to him, "You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he."

He said, "Lord, I believe."

 And he worshipped him.



This is a very poignant dramatization of the healing of the man born blind.

Click link to watch:  


Contemplation: It has been such a shocking afternoon and so much has happened to this young man, Bartimeus. He can hardly comprehend it all. He simply threads through the sequence of events  and keeps retelling the story. Yes, I was blind since birth and have been begging daily on the streets. It was my life. I knew nothing else. Then I encountered this man who was passing by. As always, I  begged for help. But this man was different, instead of coins dropped in my cup, he reaches down and puts a spittle and mud mixture on my eyes. Then I go, in obedience to his command, and wash my eyes in the pool of Siloam. And then, I see for the first time! It was awesome. Light coming into my world of darkness. I can hardly describe it! Objects and people came into focus and I can see clearly now. I am healed of this physical blindnesss. What a marvellous gift! That man is a prophet!


The joyous bubble burst when his good news is met with rejection and revulsion! So shocking to him now has been the religious leaders examination of the law and the prophets and telling him that this cannot have happened. Furthermore, it is the Sabbath and this healing goes against our Scriptures. They have God and God's power all trapped and boxed in and they truly cannot 'see' the miracle right before their very eyes. They now are the 'blind ones' and cannot see. Spiritual blindness is the deeper emptiness and loss. 


Then towards evening, comes this one small scene after the healing has occured. I find this to be particularly tender. Jesus has been looking about for him. He has an 'eye out' for where he might go after he is expelled from the community. He finds him travelling along down an alleyway and he meets him there in private. This intimate encounter marks such a shift in their relationship. In one day, Bartimeus goes from blindness to sight and now to a confession of faith. Jesus guides him to faith so gently and surely that the 'seeing' glows more brightly.  The light of faith fills his inner darkness and confusion about all these 'contradictions of the Law and the beyond the Law' that he has just experienced. In Jesus' presence, he is now flooded with the fullness of divine vision. He has physical sight and spiritual sight. He bows down in worship proclaiming what he knows: "Lord, I believe."


I invite us all to enter into this fourth week of our Lenten journey with our eyes fixed firmly on "the blindness" in our own lives - the places and persons and events - that remain shrouded in a cloud of darkness and mystery. So much remains veiled from our eyes and we do not always 'see' or understand how God is working in and through these difficult and challenging situations and encounters. Who knows, we may need a little messy "mud and spittle" placed into our human interactions and into our religious practices! The healing waters flow as we admit our struggle and vulnerability and embrace our human condition and neediness. The grace of healing is allowing GOD to work beyond our plans and control and outcomes. Let God reveal to us the magnificence of his love and care and healing presence in our journey. 


I pray JESUS might meet each one of us this week -down some secret passageway of our mind  - and encounter us with his loving eyes ... 

“When you looked at me your eyes imprinted Your grace in me;
for this you loved me ardently;
and thus my eyes deserved to adore what they beheld in You.”
                   (Spiritual Canticle, John of the Cross)


Carrying Grace        Lord, I believe.


#2 arletteh 2011-04-04 01:21
realized this and uttered: "Lord. I believe!" and he worshipped Jesus. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Oh, yes, let your loving gaze, oh Jesus, penetrate lovingly into our hearts!
#1 arletteh 2011-04-04 01:17
This Gospel shows, for me at this time, a chance for radical new beginning. John begins his Gospel with the Prologue: “In the beginning was the Word.” He takes us back to that story in Genesis that starts: “In the beginning God made man from the dust of the ground.” Jesus, in deep compassionate solidarity with the blind man’s humanity (and with ours in our still remaining blindness) ,with the blind man’s misery and isolation ,his longing to see, smears mud on his eyes. Jesus thus grounds the man in his human vulnerability and in his need to accept it. Jesus uses touch, the most basic of our senses, to re-create the man from the bottom up, as it were.
Further on in the Prologue, John will say about Jesus :“And to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.”(John1, 12-13).In the depths of his soul that had suffered for so long, the man born blind realized this, and uttered: “Lord, I believe!” and he worshipped Jesus. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Oh, yes, let your loving gaze, oh Jesus, penetrate lovingly deep into our hearts!

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