FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
March 19, 2023
1 Samuel 16:1b,6-7,10-13a; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41.
Today’s readings emphasise the difference between how God perceives us and how we perceive ourselves. When God looks at us, he sees the beautiful soul he created. His gaze is like the light that dispels any form of darkness. According to the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, ‘anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light.’ The light of God sees through our weaknesses; he sees beyond appearances; he sees the soul. God is not deceived by appearances because he is interested in the soul.
In the first reading Samuel was sent to the house of Jesses of Bethlehem to anoint one his sons chosen as the new king of Israel. Of his eight sons, God chose David the youngest; the insignificant shepherded boy who was out looking after sheep. It is interesting how scripture described the soul of David; a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. Samuel anointed David king and the spirit of God seized him thereafter.
In the gospel according to John, Jesus and his disciples saw a man born blind and the disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ In answering them, Jesus used the opportunity to correct the wrong impression of associating sin with sickness. Neither the man nor his parents sinned. The pharisees saw a sinner from birth, who is beyond redemption. Jesus saw a child of God and restored his sight to show the unconditional love beyond any form of challenge or weakness.
The lesson for us on this fourth Sunday of lent is that God in interested in our soul more than in our appearances. Appearance does not always portray the beauty of the soul. We shouldn’t allow our weaknesses to define us. While we struggle with our weaknesses, we should always bear in mind that God sees us differently. His gaze penetrates beyond appearances and weaknesses. The labelling and the tags we place on each other does not feature in our relationship with God.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.