“Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” John 9:3

Is your spiritual visual acuity 20/20?

Today, we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Lent and are encouraged to reflect on our personal spiritual vision whilst we read of Jesus who healed on the Sabbath, a man blind from birth. Spiritual blindness occurs when we are unable to see or hear the message of God and understand it. It is especially deep rooted when we believe we are doing the Will of God but are far from his path. (Remember St Paul’s story and the Pharisees of today’s Gospel). It can be caused by our ignorance, skepticism – pride or a lack of faith.

The Pharisees acknowledged that the man was healed of his blindness. Yet they could not see it as an act from God through Jesus. They only saw that he broke the Sabbath. The Law of Moses was very important to them but they forgot that Moses was just a prophet of God. The evidence was clear as day – a man born blind could now see. No matter how many times they heard the explanation to the “how” – “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”, they closed their hearts to the facts and stuck to their own ways.

In Matt 13:13-15 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: “You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted and I heal them.”

Why do we still doubt what scripture says? Do we reject scripture? Must we have evidence for the good that happens? How do we discern what is in line with God’s will?

“We can know in a general way what God wills. For we know that whatever God wills, He wills it under the aspect of good. Consequently, whoever wills a thing under any aspect of good, has a will conformed to the Divine will, as to the reason of the thing willed. But we know not what God wills in particular (in choosing between good and good): and in this respect we are not bound to conform our will to the Divine will.” (Of the Goodness and Malice of the Interior Act of the Will, Summa theologica i-ii 19.10,ad 1, St. Thomas Aquinas )

The Pharisees were focused on what they could not comprehend and become skeptical and prideful. “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” Spiritual blindness occurs when we think we know better and it must be done our way. “I know myself better, I have slowly changed and I am doing enough in my spiritual health.” Have you waved aside opinions and criticisms from others? Is there really no truth in what they say? When reading scripture, have we truly examined ourselves in our sinful ways? “I have read scripture and I think I am not like that, but maybe I will still reflect upon it”.

How deep are we in our Lenten reflection now? Do we still see but not comprehend? It is not enough to hear the word and not act upon it. James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like.”

Eradicating our spiritual blindness is a gradual process (Mark 8:22-26) and it requires God’s light and prudence on our part. Continue to be steadfast in your Lenten journey, allow God to reign in your life and follow him. He is sending you to the pool of Siloam. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may not be spiritually myopic but understand in line with the perpetual goodness of God.

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” Eph 5:8-14

Written by, Marianne