In the middle of spring, the Christian world celebrates a Rejoicing Sunday called Laetare Sunday. It occurs on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. It means that half the Lenten period is over and the midpoint of penitential season has been reached. The Catholic Church offers the faithful a little break, substituting rose vestments for the penitential purple usually used during the season and with a few changes in liturgy. The readings of the day also reflect the joyful mood.
Light peeps through the day
The readings of the Fourth Sunday liturgy make us see the Light of the World. The Gospel tells the story of Jesus(John 9: 1-41) giving sight to a blind man who has never been able to see. Along with sight, the blind man receives something greater than the physical light. The story continues to say that the healer is the Lord and at the end the blind man who had vision comes to see the Lord.
A spunky blind man representing all of us
This incident of this spunky, uneducated man invites us to open our inner eyes and see the Lord. We are also in blind in our inner vision. We are also living out of the vision that our Lord is always offering us.
It is a call to trust in Him
The blind man shows us how to trust in our Lord. He gets insight gradually. He trusts in the Lord. He is so grateful to the Lord that he believes him completely, and he bows in reverence to him. Here we find him standing in sharp contrast to the Pharisees, who insist on a limited, rigid interpretation of their traditions. It is their blindness, or rather unwillingness to see the Light, that keeps them from seeing how God is working in their lives at that very moment.
Have we got blind spots?
Sometimes we choose, metaphorically, to choose to stay the basement, unwilling to enter into the light-filled ballroom to which God invites us. If we focus on despair or anxiety, we may overlook the Light and sight offered to us at every moment.
Look at the clay anointment
Jesus anoints the blind man’s eyes with clay, literally, with soil of the earth, which God created and proclaimed to be ‘good’ and which heals the blindness of the man. Baptism is an anointment. Israel priests and kings were anointed with oil.
Easter is at hand- Rejoice!
By professing Jesus as our Lord, we have been anointed. This anointment should enable us to open our eyes to reclaim our gift of light and sight.