1987 March 29 – 4th Sun of Lent (Bulletin Letters)
Jn 9, 1 – 41
SEEING IS BELIEVING? You have all heard the saying, “I’m from Missouri show me.” Behind this statement is the belief that if you can show someone the facts, they would come to believe. Today’s Gospel from St. John dispels this common-sense wisdom. Jesus cures a blind man and the Pharisees refuse to believe. There stands a man who was blind since birth now able to see and the leaders of the Jewish community refusing to believe what their own eyes are seeing. Their blindness does not come from faulty eyes but from their hardened hearts. The Pharisees have a lot at stake with Jesus. In the Gospel of John, Jesus does his attack on the Temple in the Second Chapter. He is clearly a threat to them. As leaders of the Jewish people they were walking a very thin tight rope. Control over their own people was a must if they were going to survive under Roman Rule. Jesus refused to be controlled; he refused to follow the rules to obey their laws. He was gathering his own following and acting with an authority that the Pharisees had no control over. In their eyes, in their hearts, Jesus was a threat to the nation. In today’s Gospel the blind man appears before them able to and they could not afford to believe their own eyes. For the Pharisees, the survival of their people depended on them refusing to believe what their eyes were seeing.
Believing is seeing! Faith is a gift. To come to a belief is to be open to wherever the Spirit will lead us. We cannot box in the Spirit. We cannot have the last word on what we believe. We must be open to change on any belief if we are to keep an open heart. This does not mean we can’t hold to our beliefs strongly or be willing to sacrifice a great deal for what we believe. We simply can’ t make the beliefs themselves the “be all and end all.” Only the Spirit of God claims such domain and we must be open to where ever it may lead us. We must be willing to be wrong before we can say we are right. True believing is seeing anew each and every day of our lives.