Fourth Sunday of Lent (a)

The drama of John 9, the Man Born Blind, is the story of a simple man open to God’s presence and arrogant men who cannot see the Christ standing right before them. The blind man is the one with sight. The Pharisees, those great luminaries and self-proclaimed intellectuals, are… simply blind.

Little has changed in the world. You go to work, to school, and the so-called intellectuals belittle you because you are a person of faith. But they cannot answer the questions that matter: What is life really about? What is the purpose for all of our struggles? Can last happiness ever be found? Does it exist? Where is it? They cannot answer these questions. But we can. Life is about God who gave us life. We exist to love, honor and serve Him. With God as our center, every aspect of our life has meaning and purpose, even pain and sorrow. His love is experienced in the love of our families, of our marriages, of our Church family. We experience His Love in each other. There is so much more to life than the physical, the here and now. The spiritual is real. Happiness does exist. It comes from union with God. No one can take this happiness from us. Even those who are persecuted for their faith remain at peace with the Lord. We possess the happiness that lasts.

And, you know, we cannot allow others to put us down for our faith. We know what matters in life. We need to shake off the concept that we are insignificant, members of the mindless masses. Like the blind man who refused to deny what he saw, what he experienced, we need to be passionate witnesses to Jesus Christ.

We are in the middle of the very well known 40 days for life campaign, their mission is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America[1].Why do not we join them? Why not raise our voices in favor of life? Why not give public testimony of what we believe? Why sometimes we are so cowardly?

The question, Where is your brother? Of the book of Genesis will be asked at the final judgment. Each person –you and me- will answer it and be judged by it. May we be judged to have recognized and loved all our brothers and sisters, born and unborn.

We priests cannot preach cafeteria Catholicism: “I like that. I take it. I do not like. Do not take it”. We have to raise our voices even on uncomfortable aspects of the Gospel –abortion, contraception, sex outside marriage, racism, defamation- and proclaim the truth of God in a complete, undivided.

Let us remember the story of the man born blind and don’t be concerned with the snide comments and attacks of others. Instead let us pray for them to be delivered from their blindness, let us raise our voices, let us give public testimony of our faith, and especially let us thank God that with Christ and his light and grace we can see ■


[1] http://www.40daysforlife.com/blog/

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris