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Scripture Reflection - March 19, 2023

Fourth Sunday of Lent

1 Samuel 16: 1b, 6-7, 10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Light Dawns Gradually Over the Whole

Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection

Ludwig Wittgenstein, an Austrian philosopher, wrote about growing in knowledge, “Light dawns gradually over the whole.” I enjoy watching the morning break, the light slowly increasing until the whole landscape becomes clear. That is the heart of today’s gospel—transformation in Christ is an ongoing process that requires a new way of seeing. The struggle between darkness and light, between blindness and seeing, is our struggle as we strive to grow in the way of truth.


The blind beggar gradually moves from blindness to sight and then sight to insight. Jesus restores the man’s physical sight, but that is just the beginning. After Jesus heals him, some Pharisees ask what he has to say about Jesus. He begins by simply calling Jesus a “man”—a wonderful person who did a great deed for him. Later, when asked again, he calls Jesus a “prophet.” Then finally he responds to Jesus pointing to himself as the Son of God, “I do believe, Lord.” Jesus lifts the darkness, and this man sees the whole. Jesus, the light of the world, moves the man from blindness to sight and, more importantly, from sight to insight.


As we approach Holy Week, our readings shine the light of truth on our lives.


Fr. Richard Rohr reminds us that “spirituality is about seeing, and sin is about blindness.” Or as Saint Gregory of Nyssa writes, “Sin is always a refusal to grow.” As creation continues to evolve and grow, today’s gospel challenges us to ongoing transformation—to live openly in the light of Christ. What in your life needs to be brought into the light? What may be a blind spot that needs healing—our blindness to the goodness or needs of others? God sees the goodness in our hearts and will give us the grace to be Christ’s light to others.


Sr. Theresa Rickard, OP

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