The pit. I have only one more month to go before the semester ends and I prepare for my exams that marks the end of my semester. These few weeks have been hectic and I constantly feel that I am at the bottom of a dark pit, struggling to climb out of the well into the light and the freedom that awaits. I see only one end to this journey which is to hopefully transit smoothly into the workplace and make my parents happy.
The gospel begins by saying, “As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”Some said, “It is, “but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”He said,”I am.”
They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a Sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.”But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?”And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
They answered and said to him,”You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said,”I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him (John 9:1-38).”
The gospel shows the faith that the blind man had in Jesus and this faith sustained him in knowing that he will find Jesus. True enough, with his sight restored, both physically and spiritually, he accepted Jesus and followed him.
People did not believe in miracles or faith because some were skeptical, others were not open to the teachings of Jesus. More so, we see it happening in today’s context and people would simply brush religion aside because they do not see beyond their own line of sight.
Often, I feel like I do not belong because it can be difficult to speak and reach out to people. Efforts seem futile and sometimes, it can be tiring to give so much and then to receive only a fragment of consolation or comfort. It is similar to putting 100% effort to study for a test, doing all the necessary revisions, but at the end of the day, the results show otherwise. It is difficult to comprehend and to swallow the bitter reality.
However, Jesus picks up the broken pieces and fixes us back, just like how he did with the blind man who was cast out by his community. The blind man was genuinely interested to meet and know Jesus. At times, we hope that everyone will understand or believe in Jesus, but sometimes, maybe only few answer the call to follow Jesus.
Rather, are we able to look past the surface and to know Jesus on a deeper level? In this time of Lent, the challenge is to try and find Jesus in the people around us. It can be hard at times when we are ridiculed but Jesus does restore the sight of men so that we are not blind to the image of a loving and caring father.
I was on the bus the other day and I was standing beside a domestic helper who was on a call with her employer. The thing that caught me off guard was when the helper replied her employer on the phone by saying, “Yes madam, I am going to attend Church first.” This simple response shows her strong belief and commitment to Jesus as she was willing to explain to her employer. She was placing Jesus first before her other errands.
In this time of Lent, may we keep the faith close to our hearts, pray for the strength to be able to see and to be light to others, just like how Jesus is the light of the world for us to see. May we keep the intentions of Pope Francis for the month of April in our prayers,“That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.”
Let us pray for one another in this time of Lent as we discover more about ourselves in this Fourth Sunday of Lent and about Jesus as he walks with us on this journey of obstacles, blessings and gifts.Amen.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong