Scripture Reflection - March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent

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

“It is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.

So many times God does not interfere with the events of life, but will always be there to support, grace, guide, and console us in the events of our lives.

This is true in today’s readings.  Both in the passages from Samuel and John, we are invited to see God work in, through and despite the circumstances before us.

Jesse presented 7 or his 8 sons to Samuel.  It was tempting to settle for good enough, but Samuel did not rely on his own instinct, rather waited for God’s confirmation.

And from John’s Gospel story of the man born blind, we are offered several places to see God at work in the situation.  First off, notice!  It is not the man who seeks Jesus but rather Jesus noticing the man, stopping to engage his disciples in a lesson, then taking an unsolicited action to offer this stranger a gift.

Notice that the blind man did not know Jesus.  He did not even recognize his voice.  Yet Jesus saw him and approached him.

Notice that the Pharisees did not accept God’s work in this miracle.  Yet, the now ‘seeing’ man spoke truth to their power.  This man, now able to see, did not flinch when challenged to deny the truth to save position.  Remember, we read that the Jews threatened to expel those who claimed Jesus as the Christ.

Notice that he now stood straight and proclaimed “I am” making himself visible perhaps for the first time.  Neither the neighbors, nor his family, nor the authorities could keep him from speaking the truth to power.  Whatever the consequences, he did not flinch!

And finally, after following the long dialogue that leads to his being expelled from the temple, notice this man did not go out in search of Jesus.  No!  Once again, it is Jesus who heard what had happened and went and found him.  How great is that!

Yes. “that the works of God may be made visible” Jesus healed his blindness, gave courage to his speech, and sought him out to encourage him to believe that Jesus is the One.

So it was true then; so it is true NOW.  God will not always choose to interfere with our lives, but will always bring light to darkness, truth to falsehood, hope to despair, faith to fear.  Therefore, I may proclaim with the psalmist “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.”

Sister Maureen Murphy, OP

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