March 26, 2017

Reading 1 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

The LORD said to Samuel:
“Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”

As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice,
Samuel looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.”
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse replied,
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse,
“Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
“There—anoint him, for this is the one!”
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed David in the presence of his brothers;
and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.

God does not see as we see.  We see physical traits and appearance, but God sees the heart.  The world would be such a different place if inner beauty was shown on the exterior.  I want to see how God sees.  I want to treat people with the utmost respect and go out of my way to get to know them.  I want to look beyond everything else and really be in touch with people’s hearts as my means of identifying them instead of judging them by some outward characteristic or something they did.

Since God sees the heart, I have been wondering what my heart looks like.  I know I have dirt and dark places on my heart that need to be cleaned and purified.  I want my heart to be a beautiful garden where virtue and light grow and flourish.  I want my heart to burst because it is too small for my big God.  I want to overflow with love because there is so much that keeps coming and coming and cannot stop.  I want my heart to be a mirror of Christ and a place to look for comfort, joy, and serenity.

Reading 2 Eph 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.” 

There is no excuse for us to stay in the dark; we are saved.  Many people in this world are in the dark, but that is because they do not have the Lord.  We need to go as far from the dark as possible and bring those people to the light.  Light heals, and we are attracted to it.  It is beautiful and hopeful.  We all know what sins keep us in the dark and the certain parts that we are scared to let see light, but Christ is the Light that gives life.  We should be afraid of the darkness of ignoring God just as children are terrified of their dark bedrooms.  Light saves us, and we should allow it to pierce through anything that is not already shining in order for us to light up for Christ.  We must pass this light along to those that are dreary, cloudy, rainy, or foggy in any parts of their souls.  Light leads straight to the Lord without any sudden stops, crashes, or slips.

Gospel Jn 9:1-41

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, ”
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He replied,
“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
So I went there and washed and was able to see.”
And they said to him, “Where is he?”
He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe
that he had been blind and gained his sight
until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
They asked them,
“Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
How does he now see?”
His parents answered and said,
“We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
We do not know how he sees now,
nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Ask him, he is of age;
he can speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews,
for the Jews had already agreed
that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
he would be expelled from the synagogue.
For this reason his parents said,
“He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind
and said to him, “Give God the praise!
We know that this man is a sinner.”
He replied,
“If he is a sinner, I do not know.
One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
So they said to him,
“What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them,
“I told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?
Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
They ridiculed him and said,
“You are that man’s disciple;
we are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses,
but we do not know where this one is from.”
The man answered and said to them,
“This is what is so amazing,
that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God,
he would not be able to do anything.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them,
“If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Gospel JN 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a Sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him, and
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

I think since we have heard this Gospel all our lives that it loses its effect.  A man was blind, and now he sees.  That is mind blowing.  Jesus’ power is incredible.  Did you ever have something stuck in or dropped into you eye and you could not see? That is one of the worst feelings because you do not even know what is in front of you.  This is how the man felt his whole life, but Jesus gave him the power to see.

We are all blind really.  We do not see what is front of us or do not let Jesus remove the blinders from our eyes.  Everything would be clearer if we humbled ourselves and asked Jesus to help us see.  It is life changing to get a new prescription, and here we have sin destroying and obstructing us from furthering our vision of God and all that is good.  Being spiritually blind is blocking so many good things that could be happening and you shut down as you cannot move along the path God wants for you.  It is crippling to not be able to move forward, and that’s all God wants – for us to develop and grow in our relationship with Him and be obedient to Him.

Once we see Jesus, and really see Jesus, there is no going back.  You will do everything you can to not be blind again and to be able to take part in the sweetness and goodness of knowing the Lord and watching what He does to show His Love and enhance our lives through that.  I am challenging you to go the step further and begin to have the faith like the once-blind man.  He accepts what Jesus told him, and wow talk about believing without necessarily needing to see.  Faith knows there is a lot more than meets the eye.

 

 

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=xCG9YGO5&id=F2EA71A4B4F610EE0FB3E47148C69F5B8E733107&q=pool+of+siloam&simid=608050800815508752&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0

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