THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
March 22, 2020: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
“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… While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
It got off to a rocky start. “Who sinned? Surely someone must have sinned if this man is born blind. It has to be either this man or his parents that is the cause.” Oh, so human…and oh, so devoid of inner light. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the poor man didn’t have physical sight. His blindness was judged to be the result of his sins.
Then along comes Jesus. He gets right to the point. Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. The works of God?? What is going on here? Who does this Jesus think he is? He’s even proclaiming that he is the light of the world! He’s even proclaiming that this man born blind — obviously a sinner or he would not have this affliction — is special to the heart of God! That he is a chosen vessel to proclaim the works of God. That he is a child of God who will be radiant with light — the light of Jesus, the healer and savior.
Now this blind man had a lot of pluck. He wasn’t the sort to cave under pressure. He was sticking to his guns. “This man put mud on my eyes, and I see. He must be of God. A prophet, even.” He tells his judges, “This is amazing! If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.”
I can almost hear the tenderness in Jesus’ voice as he said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “I do believe, Lord.” And he worshiped him. “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”
Jesus, help us to be honest enough to say that we do not see. We do not see as you do. We need you, the Light of the World, to illumine our inner darkness, to shed your gentle light in all the places deep within that cry out for you. To walk with you along the sometimes dark paths of life and let you lead us. We are blind, but in your light, we see. Help us to show forth the works of God in our daily lives, to be your hands and heart. We are blind, but in your light, we see light.