Introduction: The text of John 9:1-41 tells us of the healing of a man born blind and about the power of Jesus and the meaning of his presence in the world. It is an invitation for us to open our eyes to see the true image of Jesus as we read the Scriptures, relate to others and experience the events of everyday life.
Send us your LIGHT
So that we can see and perceive
Your works in us.
Do not let darkness blur our sight
But give us the light or your Spirit
that enlightens the way that leads to you
we ask this through Christ our Lord.
- Read the text John 9:1-41 read the text slowly and listen attentively with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you?
- Reflect: read the text again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you.
- Respond: read the text again but this time respond spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this text lead you to ask for from the Lord?
- Stay with the Word: read the text a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Don’t say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying?
- Take now the word, sentence or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word lead you action.
Conclude your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Reflection: The main theme of chapter nine in John’s Gospel is about one of Jesus’ mission on earth to bring the light (faith) to those who leave in darkness (lack of faith). The healing of the born blind man represents the people who want to remain in darkness as well as those who want to see the light. Let us look at the different reactions that people have to this miraculous event, so that we may, too, take sides either to see the light (Jesus) or to remain in darkness (sin).
Central Message: …” His disciples said ‘Rabbi’, who sinned this man or his parents?”… “His neighbours said, Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”…”Yes, it is the same one…No, but he looks like him”…”The Pharisees said he cannot be from God…how can a sinner produce signs like this?” The blind man said ‘God doesn’t listen to sinners but He listens to people who are devout and do his will. He put a paste on my eyes and washed, and I can see…He is a Prophet…Lord I believe”. His parents said “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes.
a) “Jesus corrects his disciples about the wrong ideas and myths about sicknesses and physical defects in those times. He refuses to accept that any misfortune come from God. He teaches them that neither he nor his parents sinned, that he was born blind so that the works of God might be shown in him. Jesus performs God’s work by making a paste with his saliva and mud putting it on the blind man eye to be cured. God still does his works in so many ways, he reveals himself through suffering and sickness, which are not a curse or punishment deserved by a sinner, but a ‘window’ through which God glimpses at and stretches his hand to give us his healing touch.
b) The blind mind man was well known by many but raises doubt about the healing of his blindness. They don’t understand how he sees again though he explained to them how it happened. He gives his testimony of faith so that they also can believe: ‘a man called Jesus opened my eyes’, he said. But they resisted to believe notwithstanding the knowledge the nature of his blindness. They were more blind than him, their eyes were close as they could not recognise Jesus even with their eyes wide opened.
c) The Pharisees were convinced that Jesus was not coming from God because he was coming from God he could not perform works on a Sabbath. But they faced the fact and the naked truth that the blind man was cured on a Sabbath, so they have to ask what the blind man thought of Jesus. He then gave his second testimony of his faith: ‘he is a Prophet’. But still they did not want to believe in his testimony. They put first the law before people and distant themselves from human needs.
d) The parents of the blind man in this text represent the truth which is not accepted by the religious authorities and treated as matter of deception, ‘We know he is our son and that he was born blind, but we don’t know how it is that he can see now, or who open his eyes’. The believer has the ability to know by the light of Christ everything that is true and perceives something that is out of their reach.
e) As the blind man meets Jesus after his healing he is encouraged to keep up the faith and remain united with Jesus. Jesus shows him that He is on the side of those excluded or not counted in society. The blind man who could not see, ends up seeing better than the Pharisees, he receives the enlightenment: “To have seen me is to have seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).
Some questions for our reflexion:
- What is my attitude towards miraculous healing?
- How do you see and perceive the works of God in your life and in other people’s lives?
- How is your experience living in a situation of ‘darkness’?