Are We Also Blind?
The entire chapter 9 of John's Gospel is devoted to the account of Jesus' cure of the man born blind. This singular focus of the chapter signifies the importance of the subject addressed, Christ; the divine Light overcomes the darkness of sin. The sacrament of baptism accurately embodies this act. It is for this reason that "enlightenment" is another name given to baptism in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
To see in the spiritual sense, it is Christ who will give us Light (Eph. 5:14). We need his Light now more than ever because we have a form of darkness that looms over our lives, the gloom called Covid-19. A plague that has suddenly turn our world into chaos and uncertainty. It is spreading the darkness of fear, illness, and death that is rocking every facet of life. We need Christ's Light. We need to be able to see through this darkness. We need a perception, a divine perception. Like Samuel, we tend to see with human eyes, not with divine eyes, but "Not as man sees does God sees" (1 Sam 16).
Like some of the Pharisees in today's Gospel, we ask Jesus, like the man born blind, "Are we also blind?" (Jn 9:40). Yes, we should humbly admit that we are blind, but we should also be confident to say that we have encountered Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. If we believe and follow Jesus in this time of the darkness of the unknown, we will have the Light of life.
Despite the blindness we experience now, despite the pains and sufferings that follow, the Light of faith is a source of joy. On this Sunday, traditionally called Laetare Sunday, we find a reason to rejoice because Jesus the Light will cure our blindness. Let's invite that Light in continuous prayers, fasting, and compassion for our neighbors. And let's stay safe by doing the right thing.
In Christ, the Light,
Fr. Bernard Oniwe, OP