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March 22, 2020: Fourth Sunday of Lent

Reading: John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.


Jesus curing the blind man appears simple enough at first. Jesus sees him and cures him. But soon the man is brought before the Pharisees who are more interested in the rules than cures.

Some in the world today still believe that afflictions such as blindness are the result of the sins of the afflicted. And the Pharisees believe that Jesus is a sinner since he cured the blind man on the Sabbath. Everyone rushes to lay blame. How blind! How blind are we?

It is the formerly blind man who truly sees. When Jesus reveals himself, the man shows his faith and worships Jesus. Are we like this man? Or are we like the Pharisees who remain blind?


We have reached Laetare Sunday, that point when we are more than halfway to Easter. A time when we consider if our Lenten practices are leading us to a closer relationship with God, leading us to a deeper faith. Are we seeing Christ, the Light of the World, as the formerly blind man saw him, as our light? Is there something in my life to which I remain blind? Decide what you can change to address it this week.

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Lorraine Kirker

Lorraine Kirker was taught by the Sisters of Providence at St. Polycarp School in Somerville, MA. A Providence Associate since 2010, Lorraine has served on the Congregation Peace with Justice Committee (currently Justice Coordinating Commission). A retired Naval Officer, Lorraine lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state where she is active in her parish, St. Hubert Catholic Church in Langley, and in the local fiber art community.

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1 Comment

  1. Susan Paweski, SP on March 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Lorraine, this passage and your reflection are made more poignant at this time. We have time to reflect on what we need to “see” about ourselves in new and deeper ways. Thank you!

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