FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, Second Scrutiny of the Elect
Also Read: Mass Readings for 14 Mar 2021
First Reading: First Samuel 16: 1b, 6-7, 10-13a
“JESUS said to him(Thomas): “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!” (John 20: 29)
Why is JESUS being mentioned here in this reflection on the Old Testament!?! -Because it’s All About JESUS and it’s All Connected From Genesis through to Revelation. The Message of the Word of God is the same! More on that later!
Meanwhile, Christ spoke there about those who had faith without even seeing! Although instantly we think it is us, HE is referring to; but today’s First Reading, gives us another one of those too! -Jesse! Even as the Prophet Samuel kept on rejecting each one of his seven sons; Jesse kept faith in Samuel’s proclamations! Jesse is the root of David, who turns out to be the ancestor of Christ’s human incarnation! For his faithfulness, GOD Blessed Jesse with such a great honor; even Jesse wouldn’t have dreamt of it!
Therefore, the ancestor of Christ today teaches us faith before “Seeing”! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 23: 1-6
The Shepherd King!
In keeping with his ministry of herding the sheep, David sings this psalm. Even as we live our lives here on earth as in the presence of God; we realize Heaven on earth!! -In those little moments of awareness when we see HIM as HE is: Light of the World, Shepherd of HIS Sheep and Saviour of us all; We are granted a glimpse into HIS eternal world. Amen!
Second Reading: Ephesians 5: 8-14
“For once you were darkness, but now in the LORD you are light. Live as children of Light-for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” (v.8)
“For everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper awake! Rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” (v.14)
St. Paul in this beautiful passage, tells us that we are children of LIGHT! Therefore as Children of Light, we ought to live in this Light. We can measure our faithfulness in our daily lives by introspecting our thoughts, words, and actions. Our thoughts need to be set on all things Good, Right, and True. Thus through our, now filtered thoughts, we are then able to control the words we speak. When our thoughts and words are sanctified our actions follow suit. Just as an example: when we decide to wake up earlier and go for that jog; when we return, we naturally pick up a healthier food/drink – almost an automatic consequence! It is because we have decided in our heart and mind to pick up healthier habits, that’s all!
We are then extolled to rise literally from our slumbers of various kinds and let the Sun of Christ shine on us! We slumber in attitudes of pride, ignorance, disobedience, foolishness, and many such as these! If only we allow the Light of the World to step into our darkness, when we invite HIM every morning, we would be sure of this experience! We know HE is in our boat and yet succumb to fear! (Mark 4:35-41) Today all of us, are in great need of Faith and in a greater need of Earnestly Calling out to HIM. Fr. Joseph Edattu, Divine Retreat Centre-UK; once said, “Christ is a gentleman; HE awaits you to invite HIM into your boat, to go and ask HIM to save you!” Hence Invite HIM into your hearts and HE will turn the barrenness into a banquet!
“For everything that becomes visible to us,”(v.14) When we contemplate at least a few minutes in solitude with the LORD, we are given this vision; in the presence of HIS Light! We must immerse ourselves in the word of GOD daily too! “Indeed, the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow, it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb 4:12) It is in the piercing light of the Word that our heart, thought, mind, spirit, and soul are rendered clear to see! We will then hear HIM speak too! Then, it is in our hearts that we know we will Rise with HIM! Amen!
Gospel: John 9: 1-41
The LIGHT and the Enlightened!
“As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.” (v.5)
“We know that GOD doesn’t listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his Will.” (v.31)
“If this man were not from GOD, he could do nothing.” (v.33)
“JESUS said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”(v.39)
There are several aspects we could reflect upon in this entire chapter! First, we look at Christ! We hear HIM proclaim that HE is The LIGHT of the World!! Do we recognize this fact? Or are we in slumbering ignorance as alluded by St. Paul in the second reading? Only our faith can save us here!
Then, we see how the little, blind beggar, born sightless defends, argues, and tries to reason with the Pharisees. The hard-hearted Pharisees even summon his parents in an attempt to prove him wrong! There is a gutsy and robust counterargument by the young man in response to the long-drawn investigation! “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph.5:11) This man works on this principle laid down by St. Paul! Having been born blind, once he is cured; the man is able to see through the schemes of the conniving Pharisees. It is his grit and courage that stands out today as a consequence of his enlightenment! In his final and compelling statement in (v.33), the man has literally won the case!
Summing up this episode is CHRIST’S Proclamation in verse 39! Therefore, the blind and probably little-educated beggar is able to take on the so-called “Religious Stalwarts” of his time with gusto! The Blind man had humility, backed by courage and uncanny wisdom to be able to SEE; what the ‘Wide-Eyed Hawks’ couldn’t grasp even with all the ‘pompous knowledge’ they had acquired!
The Wisdom we acquire must be backed by our humility and courage! -Humility to know that we Do not Know it All! And Courage to be able “to expose unfruitful works of darkness”! We must start this process, First within our own selves! May we SEE by the Light of CHRIST!
Help us O LORD to be vigilant and steady in faith! Mother Mary Pray for us, Amen! Thank You, LORD, Praise GOD!