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Time for healing

On this fourth Sunday of Lent in 2023, the Gospel reading is the story of the blind man healed by Jesus. And I get to quote Fr. Rahner yet again!

There is a lot of detail in this story of the blind man, but I want to focus on what can be relevant to our spiritual development in the context of encountering Jesus in the service of our neighbors.

We can use an Ignatian practice, which is to reflect on the Gospels by picturing ourselves somewhere in the scene. I like to extend that idea, by picturing someone we are serving at the place of Jesus. In this Gospel, we get to be the blind man.

When we serve the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, can they help cure our blindness? What might we be blind to?

In the second reading St. Paul tells the Ephesians (5:10-14), "Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them; ... everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light."

What might the most vulnerable in our society shine a light on for us?

Or might we be blind to the fact that Jesus is looking right at us through them? Maybe we are not recognizing Jesus in them ... yet?

As Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J., once said, "When we love the other ... God is where we are and is looking at us through the other person." Maybe the next time we are serving our neighbors, ask Jesus to take away our blindness. Tell Jesus, "We want to see."

And when we are cured of our blindness, perhaps the following exchange could happen:

Jesus said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

The blind man answered and said, "Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"

Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he."

He said, "I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him.

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