Open Your Eyes
Why are we so blind sometimes?
Like the pharisees in today’s Gospel, who completely miss the miracle of the blind man being given the gift of sight, people go to great lengths to deny the divinity of Jesus. They fight faith with everything they’ve got.
It makes me sad that people miss out on a friendship with Christ, just as I did during those years when I was blind. Thanks to the Spirit, I managed to open my eyes, and everything changed. Everything got extraordinarily better.
When someone finds out I’m a Catholic, especially now that I work for the Church, a change comes over them. Some are interested, some are happy, but some are quick to change the subject. Then there are those want to have a theological debate straightaway. A recent doozy was when a friend of the family visited us from America. He asked what I did for a living.
“I work for the Catholic Church. ”
His faced dropped.
I could have said, “I’m an arsonist,” and the response would have been similar. When he recovered, he said, “It doesn’t make any sense to me. This man lived 2,000 years ago, and we’re all supposed to do what he says. No way.”
His wife chipped in helpfully, “But he taught a pretty good set of values.”
“Nonsense,” he said. “There’s no evidence that he even lived.”
To which my husband chipped in helpfully, “Historians agree that he existed. There’s plenty of evidence. There’s Josephus, and Tacitus.” It's as if this evidence is more compelling than what's right in front of our eyes.
Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Synoptic Gospels, were written only approximately 30 to 50 years (depending on which scholar you are reading) after the crucifixion. Each is written separately using eyewitness testimonies and this hypothetical source scholars call ‘Q’. They were written by different people, but each present remarkably similar accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. John was written later, but still close enough to the events to retain historical credibility.
If I were to list the evidence for the existence of God found outside of The Bible, I’d be writing a book, not a reflection, so I shall stop here. I won’t write about all the beauty in the world, and about the thousands of miracles that taken place throughout the centuries. I won’t mention the writings of Saints and scholars who have presented their proof, such as Aquinas. There will be nothing about individual spiritual experiences or the mysterious life force that means I can walk, talk, dream, write. And I certainly don't have time to discuss how many people have been willing to give their lives for their conviction that Jesus was the Son of God. Sorry, you'll read nothing about the revelation found in the stuff of life, such as birth, love, death, and everything in between, because that’ll take forever.
Sometimes, there is little to be gained in trying to convince someone who refuses to see the evidence of Christ. I just pray that I see as clearly as the blind man in the story, and that Jesus continues to heal people’s eyes.
This Sunday's readings: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13 Psalm 22 V1 Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1-41
Source: 4th Sunday of LentThis Sunday