During these weeks of Lent the liturgy nourishes us on Gospel themes which help us focus on the great gift of faith in Jesus Christ, on the development of this faith, on moving from unbelief to belief through the experience of healing, compassion and the new life which we continually receive through Christ Jesus.
Last week we had the story of the Samaritan woman to whom Jesus offered a different type of water- the living water of loving care which he received from his Father and now offers to her and to us. This is the presence of the Spirit of love which transforms the well water of a diminished human life into a life marked by love and respect and compassion.
Something similar happens to the man born blind. Jesus knew that even if it was the Sabbath God’s goodness and mercy must be offered to this poor man here and now. Jesus did not get caught up in futile discussion but quickly and with mercy healed him. For Jesus, being the light of the world means making the plight of this poor man his own concern. He shows him the Father’s care, compassion and healing. And the blind man believes and worships him.
Next Sunday we have the story of Lazarus who represents all of us who come to Jesus for healing and new life. We too can be identified as those whom Jesus loves and he shows us that he wants to unbind us and set us free. The Samaritan woman, the blind man and Lazarus all experienced in a very personal way the healing and liberating love of God through Jesus. They were liberated from their burdens and enabled to follow the ways, words and teachings of Jesus.
“So if anybody were to ask me how to find God I should say at once, hunt out the deepest need you can find and forget all about your own comfort while you try to meet that need. Talk to God about it, and – He will be there. You will know it.”
Letters by a Modern Mystic, Frank C. Laubach, page 79
Photo by Valerie O’Sullivan: Glencairn Abbey Church, Stained glass window by artist Phylis Burke