Overcome spiritual blindness: See the world through the eyes of God

| Deacon Joseph Kavuma | March 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

bigstock-Man-kneeling-at-the-Cross-of-J-8053908Midway into the Lenten season, on this fourth Sunday we encounter Jesus healing the blind man.

Like everywhere in John’s Gospel, the passage is deep and rich in biblical symbolism. Blindness is a great spiritual symbol of sin, of a weakened and impaired spiritual vision. In this blindness, we see not the splendor of God, nor do we see as God sees.

Although we might vary in degree, each of us struggles with this blindness. And each of us needs God’s guidance in order to purge it.

Praying for and loving our enemies, associating with the outcasts of society and upholding justice born out of charity are some fruits of a heart that has received light from the Lord.

The contrary often occurs when we follow our own ways, seeking our own interests. When we see the world and those around us as mere means — either a threat or an opportunity for me to get what I want — spiritual blindness is at work. In some instances, we do anything in our power to get ahead of everyone, to have things our way. What a miserable way of life. David’s kinsmen, the disciples, the Jews and Pharisees in these readings are good figures of the blindness we all struggle with now and again.

In the eyes of those around him, David does not merit the honor to be the anointed one. I believe the disciples are not interested in showing compassion to the blind man. They are overly judgmental in labeling and finding fault with him and his parents. The self-exalted Pharisees’ reaction of disbelief is appalling. They are resentful, angry, outraged and dismayed by the miracle and witness of the blind man. The Jews, in turn, utilize everything in their power to undermine the splendor of God as manifested in the healing of the blind man. Truthfully, how have our self-righteousness, bias, power, wealth, greed and ambitions led us down this same path of blindness to God and our neighbor?

Amidst all this blindness, Jesus enters the picture. He comes so that those who do not see might see.

His way is that of love and compassion. He is the light of the world through whom we see and move, and without whom we would perish. He gives sight back to the blind.

Jesus spitting on the ground and making clay with the saliva and smearing this clay on the eyes of the blind man is a juxtaposition of the creation story in Genesis, of his incarnation, and of the sacrament of baptism; just as Samuel anoints David, so are we regenerated through baptism, the pool into which the blind cleanses. Jesus brings forth new life by giving us that light, the Holy Spirit — the prerequisite for our sight in our spiritual life.

Humbling ourselves and surrendering our wills to Christ is the only way to get rid of spiritual blindness and begin seeing the world through the eyes of God.

Deacon Kavuma is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Archdiocese of Kampala, Uganda. His home parish is Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Entebbe. His teaching parish is Our Lady of Grace in Edina.


Readings

Sunday, March 30
Fourth Sunday of Lent
• 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
• Ephesians 5:8-14
• John 9:1-41

Reflection

How can we overcome the spiritual blindness that prevents us from seeing
our neighbors as God sees them?

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Category: Focus on Faith