Daily Gospel Reflection - 12 January 2013
As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?”
Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him. While it’s daytime, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man’s eyes. Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see.
The man’s neighbors and those who used to see him when he was a beggar said, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is,” and others said, “No, it’s someone who looks like him.”
But the man said, “Yes, it’s me!”
So they asked him, “How are you now able to see?”
He answered, “The man they call Jesus made mud, smeared it on my eyes, and said, ‘Go to the Pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
They asked, “Where is this man?”
He replied, “I don’t know.”
Jesus heard they had expelled the man born blind. Finding him, Jesus said, “Do you believe in the Human One?”
He answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
The man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Jesus.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we used to go to a Charismatic church. Well, we weren’t just going. We were heavily involved - leading the drama team, core members of the street ministry team, core members of the single’s ministry, praise and worship team. We were very busy. Well, after our daughter was born, she had chronic ear infections. And no matter what we did - and we did all of the right stuff - she continued to suffer. We actually had “friends” say something similar to what the disciples said in this story - “You must have sin in your life or she would be healed.”
It’s amazing how quickly we assume someone has “sin” in her life or she would be “normal.” She would look and act like “normal” people.
Why do we do this? Why did the disciples do this? Why do we think we have it all figured out and “know” the secrets of other’s lives? “Surely he must have some secret sin or he wouldn’t be sick all the time.” We have no idea the path other people are on. Heck, sometimes (most of the time?) we don’t even know the path we’re on.
That’s why I think Jesus’ answer is so amazing, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him.”
What if we looked at every obstacle like this? How would that change our outlook on the lives of others? How would it change the outlook of our own lives? Maybe those “obstacles” are really the “mighty works” of G_d waiting to be born? Maybe G_d is waiting on us to be willing vessels through whom those “mighty works” can flow?
And what happens when we are willing vessels or the one in whom the “mighty works” of G_d are displayed? The leaders of the Empirical Religious Systems feel threatened. And when they feel threatened, they threaten us. They label us as trouble makers. They warn others to stay clear of us. We’re called “heretics” or worse.
But that mustn’t deter us from following The Way of Jesus. For it is when we follow Christ, not the Empirical Religious Systems, that the “mighty works” of G_d are manifested through us. For it is through humanity that G_d’s Realm continues to expand throughout all creation.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC