Sunday of the Blind Man – 2021

Christ is risen!

In today’s Gospel, we see our Lord coming to heal the man blind from birth. His disciples were inquisitive concerning him, not knowing that the blind man would soon receive his sight, and we see them asking who it was that had sinned, that he should have been born blind: the man or the man’s parents?

To end their bewilderment, the Lord answered and said: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents, that he was thus born blind, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Our Lord teaches that here that speculative knowledge of the causes of things is not to be sought in itself, for speculative knowledge of the cause of things does not lead to sanctification. Rather than speculative knowledge, what is to be sought in any situation is that the works of God may be made manifest, and that God be glorified. When the blind man was healed, God was glorified, and His works were made manifest, by none less than the Son of God Himself.

Further, our Lord says He must work “whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

Here the Lord speaks of the work that is done within each of us, and the work that each of us must do, during this life. But night is coming, when work ceases; that is to say, the end of life is coming for each one. That day approaches, in which all work will cease, and we will be called to render ourselves before the Just Judge.

Our Lord rightly declares: As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

He is the Light, because He enlightens the hearts of the faithful and gives light to men’s eyes.

“When He had said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay on his eyes, and said to him: ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloe, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing.'”

Now, those who were hostile to our Lord envied the blind man for the gift and the miracle which he had received, and they sought to find our Lord and to take Him before the priests of the Temple. They could not find Him, however, since our Lord did not seek fame, He did not desire honours, but always and everywhere He showed Himself to be modest.

And so they bring him who had been blind before the Pharisees. And the Pharisees say among themselves, See what this Jesus is doing on the sabbath; He anoints with clay. What scandal! The Pharisees give no thought to the fact that He had healed a blind man – a man blind from birth! – but they were quick to judge and condemn the Lord because He had made mud with spittle on the Sabbath. But there were others among the Pharisees who said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And, as the Gospel tells us, there was a division among them.

The Pharisees still did not believe that Christ had granted healing to one who was blind. Since they did not believe the neighbours of the man who had given testimony, they interrogated his parents. Although the Pharisees wished to cover up the miracle, they only threw more light on it, for the parents openly told everyone all that they knew.

They said: We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but how he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself: he is of age, let him speak for himself.

The Pharisees therefore called the man again that had been blind, and they said to him: “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner,” referring to our Lord.

They do not openly tell the formerly blind man to deny that our Lord Jesus Christ had healed him, but they do so in a roundabout way, and putting forward an appearance of piety. Give God the glory, they say; in other words, admit that this Christ did nothing for you.

He that was formerly blind answered straightforwardly, saying, I know not whether He be a sinner; one thing I do know: I was blind, and now I see.

The Pharisees tried to cover up the truth by many means, but such is the very nature of truth that attempting to attack it only serves to make it stronger. Attempting to cover it up makes it shine more brightly.

When the Pharisees questioned the healed man, they wanted him to retract his testimony. Now since he did not waver, but proclaimed the truth and even upbraided the Pharisees, they condemn him, reproach him with blindness – of all things – and they drive him out of the synagogue. They hated one who would publicly reprove them, and found his truthful words abominable. They could not stand the rebuke of a poor beggar who showed courage concerning the truth; they were confounded in their falsehood. Such is the great power of truth.

The Lord heard that they had cast him out: and he comes to the formerly blind man and questions him: Dost thou believe on the Son of God? And the man, professing his faith, falls down in adoration of our Lord.

We, too, who have by the power of God’s grace been healed of our own blindness, are asked the same by the Lord today. Do you believe on the Son of God – the Creator, Maker and Lord, do you worship Him Who has delivered you from darkness, from your spiritual blindness in which you were born, for He is the Light Which came into the world.

Let us resolve today to do the works of light while it is still day, and to hold fast to the truth of the wonder-working grace of our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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