4th Sunday of Lent

1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13   Ephesians 5: 8-14   John 9:1-41

The two blind menWhen Jesus went down into the muddy waters of the Jordan to be baptised by John, He made a conscious choice to identify with all of us as truly human, sharing our faults, though He had none and giving us the promise of New Life when we would receive the same Baptism.  During these Sundays of Lent we are reminded of the elements of our Baptism as we prepare to renew our Baptismal commitment.  Last Sunday the story of ‘The woman at the Well’ illustrated for us the significance of Water as a sign of new life.  In our Gospel reading today the element Light which we receive at Baptism is described in the miraculous healing of the ‘Man born Blind’. 

In both of these Gospel stories it is Jesus, himself who makes the initial contact with the two people.  It is Jesus who being human, was thirsty and seeking water and then uses his own spittle to anoint the eyes of the blind man.  This is a real man, a real human being. He understands us and we can identify with Him! But their enlightenment was not instant; the woman had to engage with a little debate and banter before she recognised Jesus as‘a prophet’ and the blind man had to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam before he could declare ‘He is a prophet’.  

Both the Samaritan woman and the Blind man had been rejected by their own people.  She, because of her chaotic way of life and he, because of the perceived sins of his parents.  

It was not easy for them to be open to the words of this ‘prophet’ and even more daunting to proclaim their belief before their family and neighbours.  It is the personal contact with Jesus that touches their lives and the human connection that forms a bond.

“The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming: and when he comes he will tell us everything’.  ‘I who am speaking to you, said Jesus ‘I am he.’

“Jesus said to him (the blind man), ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir’, the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’  Jesus said ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’

This woman and the man, who could now see, immediately witnessed to the Lord.  She proclaimed the Good News in her village of Sychar and he boldly and courageously defended the actions of Jesus.  They did what disciples are called to do at their Baptism. But Worship is the ultimate act of Faith.  When Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that from now on her relationship with God will not be confined to the rituals and customs of old but that she will worship the Father in spirit and truth, he was initiating a new relationship between God and God’s children. The man who now sees with the Light given him by the Lord declare, ‘Lord, I believe’ and worshipped him.  

In the waters of regeneration in Baptism we are freed from the slavery of sin and we who walked in darkness are led into the radiance of faith and have become the adopted children of God. (Preface of Mass 4th Sunday of Lent) 

Let us praise, glorify and Worship God in spirit and in truth