Gospel Reflection for March 19, 2023 – 4th Sunday of Lent

Sunday Readings: 1 Samuel 16.1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5.8-14; John 9.1-41 

Jesus heard that the teachers had expelled the man born blind from the synagogue, Jesus found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Tell me who he is, sir, so I can believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have already seen him.  The one speaking to you is he.”  “I believe,” the man said and worshipped Jesus” (John 9.35-38)

Where do we find God? One common answer is deep within. How do we find God deep within? Common answers include time for solitude and silence, time to listen to one’s own aspirations and desperations apart from those of others in our lives. A retreat can help us sort what and who we really value or maybe we need a little time with a fishing hook in the water. The man born blind in Sunday’s gospel finds God in a different place, in encounters with others who question him.

Jesus leaves the scene after he puts mud on the eyes of the man born blind and sends the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. In Jesus’ absence—the middle of Sunday’s gospel—the man with new eyes faces neighbors, teachers, and parents in turn. Explaining his new eyes helps the man find words to explain what has happened. He progressively gains insight into who Jesus must be, recognizing Jesus must be a prophet, a man from God.

The seeing man’s witness models the value of articulating and sharing our own experience of God and of persisting in dialogue with those who challenge us. He finds faith in dialogue, in the space between us, where grace and amazement attend our efforts to bridge our separate selves and glimpse the mystery of God among us.

When have the questions and opinions of others called you to explain who Jesus is to you, who God is, or how Spirit stirs in you?

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