26th March, Fourth Sunday of Lent ,A

Introduction:

“I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see”. In our gospel Christ opens the eyes of the blind man but the Pharisees refuse to see. Unlike them, lets keep our eyes open to His light of faith and goodness. Lets open our eyes and hearts to his grace and confess any sins that close us off from God..

Homily

Close your eyes, imagine going around in a perpetual night. That was the hell from which Jesus delivered the blind man. But he didn’t stop at that. He brought his soul into light too. The blind man believed in Jesus and became his witness, preaching even to the Pharisees. But they wouldn’t listen. Hard of heart they wouldn’t accept Jesus; they were determined to remain blind.

This is a warning for our time. At birth we’re all spiritually needy. Baptism brings us out into the God’s light and urges us to always walk in that light. But the path of God is more difficult to walk now. Secularists, taking the pharisees role, bombard us with darkness. So pause again. This time imagine your “soul” in darkness. Now let Jesus lead us out of that night to the dawn of God’s paradise, free from spiritual blindness, worldly emptiness.

And free from the moral blindness which pursues self and pleasure regardless of God or others, which abandons basic life-giving standards of right and wrong. A world that says do what you like and to hell with the weak. A world that often shapes conscience to suit its own interests. A world that can be the blind realm of Satan, the death-dealing prince of this world. Much of the world of course is not that way, but as children of light in Christ we must especially resist that way and help all to do so. We must hold to the high morality and idealism that Christ offers and which is Summed up in two simple commands: love God, love one another. They seem simple but in fact involve a self-giving that is quite demanding – a suffering commitment to justice, peace, goodness and love that is the way to happiness here and hereafter. God’s 10 commandments were not a burden but given to free the Israelites from spiritual slavery. Jesus gave us 8 beatitudes to lead us to similar freedom and blessedness; to open our eyes to a larger inner world and happiness. But, like the Pharisees, we can choose a hard-hearted Godless worldly blindness instead. Not only morally but socially. For example when we don’t heed the cries of the poor in whatever way we can.

Again close your eyes; imagine you’re in a council house with 3 children trying to live on 140 euros a week, the loan shark at your door. Imagine you’re a single mother in a living on a meager allowance. Imagine you’re a lonely pensioner in a cold house, sick, dying. Now open your eyes to such needs, help the needy around you in whatever small way you can, in difficult times.

Jesus came to heal our blindness in every way, to lead the world to freedom, justice, goodness and happiness. Souls lit up with his presence, seeing and living in the light and so helping illuminating the world as well. Rather than loving the darkness or hardening our hearts lets embrace his light. For the blind worldly way leads but to dust and ashes at last, to perpetual darkness, but he is lord of love, goodness, happiness and light both for our freedom and happiness in this world and forever and ever. Let us too say, like the blind man, “I once was lost but now I’m found was blind but now I see”, amen. So as God’s people, opening our eyes spiritually, morally and socially to what’s right and true in Christ, lets profess our faith..

Prayers of the Faithful

For the church throughout the world, especially the Pope and all its leaders, that they may lead the flock and the whole world out of blindness and darkness into Christ’s glorious light of faith, love, peace, justice and goodness…

For ourselves, that free from the blindness of sin and hardness of heart, we may bring faith, kindness and love to all around us at home or at work, especially our precious children..

For civil authorities that unlike the authorities of Christ’s day they may open their eyes, not close them to faith as the real welfare of the people they serve..

For our wonderful youth that are lights of faith for us today..

For those who suffer from incurable blindness, or deafness or any other ailment that curtails their life, that they may find comfort in Christ their loving lord and in our care for them as his healing hands now on earth…

For the dead that they may not be trapped in everlasting darkness but come into the full light of God and his Christ with the help of our prayers..

And we ask all these prayers through Christ our Lord why is forever the healing and saving light of the world amen

Reflection

Early in life St.Francis was rich and spoilt, blind to his own and the spiritual decay of his day. Then God appeared to him and said: “Francis rebuild my church”. He went around restoring churches. Then he opened his eyes to the wider spiritual and social ruin around. Wearing rough clothes he begged to give to the poor and called hosts of other young men to this work. Soon 10.000 of these, tired of worldliness, flocked to his order. Francises of our age, we ask Mother Mary to open us to serving Christ and his church in whatever way we can..Hail Mary

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