Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Psalm 23:1-6; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41)
Allowing Jesus to Heal Our Spiritual Blindness
I was blind and now I see (John 9:25)
As you read about the blind man in this story, notice how the people viewed him initially. The disciples saw his blindness as a result of sin. His neighbors saw him as a beggar. The Pharisees saw only that he had been healed on the Sabbath. The Jewish worshippers saw a hoax — they couldn’t believe he was healed until they questioned his parents. And the parents believed he had been healed, but wouldn’t say how.
Only Jesus understood the truth: This man was a child of God. God didn’t make him blind. No, God was using his blindness to bring glory to Jesus. Through this healing and others like it, many would recognize that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah sent by the Father.
We may not be physically blind, but we all face a certain degree of spiritual blindness. As fallen human beings, we all have a tendency toward sin and self-centeredness, but we aren’t always aware of how this tendency works itself out in our lives. That’s why Jesus came: “so that those who do not see might see” (John 9:39). Even now he wants to open our eyes more fully so that we can see our need. Mind you, he doesn’t want to condemn us or lord it over us. He wants to heal us.
Never forget that you are a beloved child of God. Even as you come to recognize your spiritual blindness, remember that Jesus loves you. He won’t condemn you! So don’t be afraid to bring your “blind spots” to him today at Mass. In the Penitential Rite, ask him to open your eyes to your hidden darkness. Then, as you receive his body and blood at communion, ask him to fill you with his wonderful light. Every Mass gives us the opportunity to repeat the words of the man in today’s Gospel: “I was blind and now I see” (John 9:25).
“Lord, thank you for the salvation you have won for me! Help me to walk in your light — to see as you see and to love as you love!”
Questions for Reflection
1. In the first reading, we are told that “the Lord looks into the heart” but “man sees the appearance.” How often do you judge a man’s heart by appearances? What specific steps can you take to adopt a more godly perspective of others?
2. In the familiar Psalm 23, we read that the Lord “refreshes my soul.” What does that mean to you? Have there been times in your life when you have actually experienced the Lord’s refreshment? When?
3. How can you better approach prayer and the Eucharist with an expectant faith that you will experience the Lord’s refreshment?
4. The letter to the Ephesians tells us to expose the “fruitless works of darkness” so that “Christ will give you light.” The best place for this to happen is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What steps can you take to have a thoughtful and prayerful reception of this Sacrament?
5. The Gospel story, in addition to being a story of a miraculous healing of a blind man, is also a story of conversion, i.e., the healing of spiritual blindness. The blind man went from saying, “I don’t know” to the initial questions about Jesus to “One thing I know, I was blind but now I see.” And finally, “Lord, I believe” and then “he worshiped him.” How would you describe your own journey of conversion, in light of this story?
6. In the meditation, we hear these words: “We may not be physically blind, but we all face a certain degree of spiritual blindness. As fallen human beings, we all have a tendency toward sin and self-centeredness, but we aren’t always aware of how this tendency works itself out in our lives. That’s why Jesus came: “so that those who do not see might see” (John 9:39). Even now he wants to open our eyes more fully so that we can see our need.” What areas of spiritual blindness do you want Jesus to heal so that you can “see” more clearly in those areas?
7. Take some time now to ask Jesus “to see as you see and to love as you love!” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point. What can you do right now, and in the remaining weeks of Lent, to help make this happen?
(The discussion questions were created by Maurice Blumberg, the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a Ministry of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. Maurice can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.)