After another project-heavy week, I got a day off on Friday to just do the things I like such as finishing up chores and gardening to just take my mind off another hectic school week. I attended mass at The Church of Divine Mercy and they used a different gospel text which is from the gospel of John where Jesus heals the man that was born blind. As I was listening to the priest reading the gospel, I felt a connection with the gospel.
The gospel opens with Jesus’ disciples asking Jesus, “Who sinned? This man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9: 3-39). In responding to their statement, Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents have sinned, this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” This is a very affirming and powerful statement for me as for the most part of my life, I did not understand what God had planned for me and what was his purpose of bringing me into life. All these questions were answered by this gospel text that Jesus calls each and everyone of us to be his instruments.
Often, we are quick to blame God on the misfortunes or crises that may come our way. However, Jesus assures us that it is not our fault and neither that of his doing. But, he promises us that he is the light that will dispel the darkness and illuminate the spiritual darkness in our hearts. In this modern day, most of us are not afflicted with physical blindness but with spiritual blindness.
Spiritual blindness would be failing to see Jesus even though he is present right in front of us. It could be simple choices that we make in choosing between right and wrong, good and evil. So the question is, “How can be so blind to our own faith?” Taking charge of our own faith journey is important to acknowledge that Jesus is our Saviour and begin the first step of journeying with him. Jesus can help us “see” again by guiding us like the blind man but then again it begins with us, in making that choice to allow him to do so.
Fear is something that is constantly holding people back and even myself in journeying with Jesus as we are all so flawed and our crosses might be really heavy. I can identify with both fear and hesitation as these few weeks have been draining and dark for me as I see the ugliness of people. It is defeating to see that you are trying very hard to not fail, but people are just doing much better than you. I felt very much alone but I knew that Jesus understood that he could see that I was trying and I just had to shoulder on. Despite the ugliness, I saw the beauty of life through my friends and family who still stood by me and for this I am grateful.
Ever since I had the opportunity to blog weekly, I am grateful for the space to pen my thoughts and to just reflect on the week; this is, in a small way, my faith journey or diary. Last week while coming home from church on a weekend, I came across this monkey in the drain that was smelly and looking forlorn as its face was being eaten by maggots and its body was full of cuts. Many people must have walked past but did not do anything. This showed me that we could be really blind to our surroundings. Has society lost its heart to be compassionate and helpful to one another? However, I saw another side of society when the St Gabriel’s Scouts were coming round my area to contribute their help to the residents and raising funds which was similar to that of a flag day. They were willing to help in sacrificing their weekend and in offering their time. It made me think, “If society was more understanding and selfless, would it not make all our lives brighter and happier?”
Jesus continues to invite us in this fourth Sunday of Lent to not be blinded by our own devices and to accept his grace to walk with him in taking ownership of our faith journey. He will open our eyes just like what he did for the blind man and to not let fear stop us from getting closer to Jesus. We have to stop running away and come back to our Creator with whom we will find rest and peace. I pray to have stronger faith to keep getting back up from the constant problems and insecurities of life.
I would like to end this posting with a hymn which I heard yesterday which will help me get through the weeks to come. It is called “We Will Rise Again” by David Haas. God Bless!
“Like a shepherd I will feed you; I will gather you with care.
I will lead you and hold you close to my heart.
Refrain : We will run and not grow weary, for our God will be our strength,
and we will fly like the eagle, we will rise again.
I am strength to the weary; to the weak I am new life.
Though the young may grow weary, I will be their hope.
Lift up your eyes, and see who made the stars.
I lead you, and I know you, I call you each by name.
Fear not, I am with you; I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; uphold you with my hand.”
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong