Fourth Sunday of Lent

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

Light and Darkness

The readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent are about light and darkness, sight and blindness. The first reading is the story of the choice of David as God’s anointed one. Samuel is told that God does not see us as we do since the least likely son was chosen. The second reading tells us that we must live in the light, not in darkness. The gospel is about the man born blind who Jesus cured. Each reading provides a wealth of reflection material for our prayer time.   

In the first reading, Samuel meets seven of Jesse’s sons only to find that none of them is the chosen one. He asks if there are any other sons and Jesse sends to the sheep field to bring in his youngest son. God informs Samuel that this is the chosen one. David is anointed as the future king of Israel. God does not see as we see. What do we think or how do we act when we meet another person? Do we judge her or him according to looks, wealth, country of origin, religious belief, gender? We may not see that person as God does.

We are told in the second reading from Ephesians that, “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.” When were you in darkness when you acted or spoke inappropriately? When we live in the light of Christ we eliminate those negative or inappropriate words and actions.

The gospel story about the man born blind provides a clear picture of sight and blindness, light and darkness. Jesus cures a man who was blind from birth. Once the blind man is cured, he is able to see Jesus as his Lord, something the religious leaders were unable to do. The religious leaders refuse to believe that the man was blind from birth and cured by Jesus because the cure took place on the Sabbath. They remain blind because they refuse to see the truth.

Are there still places in us where we remain blind? Are we blind to the sufferings and needs of our neighbour? Do we show prejudice in our daily dealings with people? Do we ignore or put into a dark place the things that might have influence on us to help others? Even though we have become light, we still must choose to put forth that light, to help others, to be a light for others. We must make sure that our community of believers is supported and that we show our love to each other. This is seeing as God sees.

How do you identify the areas of darkness that still might be within you?

How do you bring light to everyone you meet?

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