Light reflects light on the canal next to my condo / I didn’t really see the beauty until I looked at the photo
The Fourth Sunday of Lent – The story of the man born blind
John the Evangelist is inviting us to ask ourselves: Who are the blind ones? Who are those who see?
May I suggest that you read the entire story yourself. Here is the NRSV version: John Chapter Nine .
It’s an important question for any of us who choose to lead a spiritual life or even survive when everywhere the truth is often folded / mutilated / stapled in obfuscated doublespeak.
The movie The Matrix showed us we were / are asleep / blind to reality. We don’t want to really see or know what’s going on as long as our private little worlds are not disturbed.
When we ahem “converse” with people online, we often don’t really know whether they’re presenting themselves for who they are or giving a false persona.
Some people only see the appearances of things. Many of us don’t have the eyes to see the unseen and the unknowable.
Much advertising today only shows only handsome young men and women.
What do you see when you wander around town?
Are you on the lookout for the truly beautiful?
Like Cindy, the bag lady I found sitting in the park knitting the other day in the park next to the main library in downtown Lauderdale.
A week ago I took a double take when I noticed her on a cold morning just outside the library door. She caught my eye because she was polishing her nails a gorgeous luminous pink. She had on a thick fuzzy cardigan to match. I backed up ten steps to say hello.
What impressed me the most was the twinkle in her eye, her cheerful demeanor and her ready smile.
I wasn’t nearly as self-possessed when I was homeless in the early Eighties. It ain’t pretty. I was scared to death.
What DO you see with those eyes of yours, my friend?
Are you able to see the truly Beautiful People, like Cindy?
Can you distinguish between the real and the unreal / the true and the false / the True Self from the false self .
Are you prone to Ponzi schemes
— in politics / advertising / religion / the people you choose to associate with / your own self?
I say this because in the first reading the Lord teaches Samuel, his prophet not to judge by appearances, but to SEE BEYOND / to see into.
“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance
but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Samuel 16:10.)
The story John is narrating here is that “They” didn’t / couldn’t see beauty in Jesus either! (The “They” who attack and accuse Jesus in this story are the religious establishment of the day.) He holds his own with them; doesn’t move — confident / courageous / fearless / knowing full well what they would do to him in the end.
The ones who had it once, but lost the inner message because they were more interested in protecting their own authority than making God available to the people.
We need to realize that “Tis ever thus!” We must not allow the hypocrites — or as I call them the “lipocrites” — to blind us from the beauty that is available to anyone who does have eyes to see. No. Don’t excuse yourself from finding God or love or a loving community of faith just because there are some who don’t get it.
Jesus healed the blind man;
let the sensuous woman wash his feet with her hair;
hung out with sinners and the tax collectors whom the lipocrites got off on thinking they were better than;
told people to “Love one another as I have loved you;
let the youngest disciple lean on his breast during the last supper;
kept his mouth shut when he was accused;
and, most importantly, simply did what his Father told him to do: be obedient (stay on message) until the very end.
And they killed him for that.
Just remember, if you choose to preach this gospel, if you tell people to see the beauty — the Christ — in the person in front of you, whether that one be a bag lady / homosexual / fallen down drunk / drug addict / mentally ill, crazy man / Muslim / Republican / Democrat / Jew / Catholic / atheist / pro-lifer / pro-choicer / Martian / immigrant / anybody who thinks differently than you, they probably will crucify you too or at least cast you out of their life, stop their ears to anything you say or do — just as the guys in this story John tells so dramatically today.
God sees differently, you know.He doesn’t divide. God unifies. God made us all as his children. God sustains all of us in the present moment.
God loves us all. No matter what.
All he wants us to do is accept his love.
And so, ask yourself, dear friend, can you see your world and the people in it — family / friend / foe — with God’s eyes?
Can you see yourself with God’s eyes, my friend?
Many people think they’re a piece of junk and so they pretend to be somebody else.
But God made you just as you are.
He wants you to see YOU as he sees you.
When you can do that, then you will change.
The good in you will increase; the not-so-good will fall away because God himself will do the transforming.
The man who was blind was able to see that. That was the second gift of sight Jesus gave him —
not just the ability to see trees and people and flowers but to see the with the eyes of the heart.
Why? Because Jesus did more than give him his sight.
He touched him.
He drew him close.
He treated the man as a person.
And that, very simply, is all Jesus wants us to do: Treat one another as a PERSON! Someone just like you.
Try it today. With your honey who treated you like vinegar this AM.Your hyper kids. Your nasty neighbor. Your lousy boss. A bedraggled stranger on the street.
That’s the message of this gospel story.
You are truly My Light.
You help me see the beauty in myself and all around me.
My life and my world are SO different because of You!
I love You. I delight in You.
I never know what to expect when You’re around. I can SEE!
You have given me true sight,
the ability to see into things.
To have the courage to look at My Reality — good and not-so-good.
To see the beauty in the people in my life instead of their faults.
To look at the reality of the world around us, even if we sense a retribution is coming.
And I praise You for you have given me the ability to use the awesome gifts our heavenly Father has granted me so that I may help others see beauty as well.
That’s what I want to do with my life from this moment on, Lord!
I want to help people see their own beauty!
To call it forth from them.
To walk around this world and see the beauty our Father has created all around me.
I love You, Lord.
You are My Light!
I believe that You truly are the Light of the World!
And St. Paul in today’s second reading sums it up:
“Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:8-14.)