Jesus miraculously heals a man born blind at the Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can ask God to help him desire God and seeking the Gift of Understanding so he can trust God in times of pain and persecution. 

Liturgy

4th Week of Lent – Sunday – Cycle A – Jn 9:1-41

Commentary

In Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles (or “Booths”), a 7-day ritual that remembers Israel’s desert wanderings during the Exodus, Jesus reveals His divinity through preaching and actions. Person of the Trinity, Jesus inspired the Jews to celebrate this Feast for 1200 years (Lev 23:34-36); now, Jesus transfigures key rituals of the Feast of the Tabernacles (Water Libation at the Pool of Siloam; Light Ceremony at the Temple) to reveal His Divinity. 

Jesus reveals He is the Light of the World, the Light anticipated in the Light Ceremony. Later, on the Sabbath, Jesus and the disciples pass a man born blind; the disciples wonder if the man’s blindness is due to his or his parent’s sin. Jesus reveals the man has been born blind so God’s glorious work can be revealed. Replaying Genesis, when man is created from dust, Jesus mixes spit with clay and recreates the blind man’s eyes, telling Him to wash in the Pool of Siloam; Jesus uses the Water Libation ritual in a miraculous prefigurement of the Sacrament of Baptism. After washing in the Pool of Siloam, the blind man’s darkness is healed by the Light of the World; the man born blind can see.

Rather than rejoicing at the miraculous healing, the Pharisees, still seeking to kill Jesus, attempt to discredit the healing through coercion: they accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath; they intimidate the formerly blind man’s parents; they interrogate the healed man and cast him out of the Temple. The healed man fearlessly confounds the Jews and proclaims Jesus’ miracle. Later, Jesus finds the healed man and reveals that He is the Son of Man; the man, convinced of Jesus’ Divinity, falls to his knees and worships Him. Jesus confirms He has come to judge the world and condemns Pharisees who choose to remain in spiritual darkness.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus’ astounding acts: Person of the Trinity, He established the 1200 year-old Feast of the Tabernacles, and now comes to reveal the fuller meaning of key rituals that had been hidden (Water Libation prefigures the Sacrament of Baptism, Light Ceremony anticipates Christ, the Light of the World); Divine Justice, Jesus affirms the centrality of worshiping God through the practice of Religion; Divine Priest, Jesus prefigures the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, and, with Divine Power, miraculously heals a man born blind.

Pray for God to give you desire for Him

Realize: The formerly blind man goes through a conversion process, calling Jesus, a “man”, a “prophet”, that He is “from God”, and finally, “Lord”; every Catholic man can be lifted by the Spirit to recognize the reality of God. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Desire for God (CCC 27-30).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I can firmly grasp the reality of God’s existence, dominion and love, be converted, and grow each day in my desire to love and serve You. 

Trust in God in times of pain and persecution

Realize: Men question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, or, “Why is there meaningless pain and suffering?” Jesus answers by revealing that the mysterious purpose of the blind man’s suffering is so, “the works of God might be made manifest in him”; suffering exists so men can be led to God. 

Believe: Reflect upon Thy Will Be Done from The Lord’s Prayer (CCC 2822-2827).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You allow me to know and trust that the Blessed Trinity’s Divine Will is always being done, especially in times of inexplicable pain and persecution.