Sunday Message

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Sunday Message 26th March 2017


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – John 9:1-41
1. A long story like the one we have today provides many different points of entry for prayer. Read the story and stay with what resonates with you. Some possible points of entry are:
a. The blind man was healed. Can you recall occasions when some blindness of yours was taken away and you could see in a new way? What was that experience like for you?
b. The Pharisees claimed to be the ones who could see, who knew where God was to be found, when in fact they were blind. It was the man born blind who showed himself open to see the hand of God at work in what happened. There can be some of each in us. What has helped you to be open to seeing the hand of God at work in your life? Who have been the Jesus people who have led you to this point?
c. There are many characters in the story: Jesus, the blind beggar, the disciples, the neighbours, the blind man’s parents, and the Pharisees. Put yourself in the position of each one and see what you learn from identifying with them.  – John Byrne OSA

The opening question of the disciples was, ‘Who is to blame?’ This is a common question in the media today; perhaps it is part of my own vocabulary. Jesus reminds his disciples, and us, that sometimes no one is to blame but that difficult situations present an opportunity for us to be drawn into God’s presence.
Lord, there were times I was lost and found, was blind and then could see. Thank you. The man’s blindness is cured, but the blindness of those who won’t believe in Jesus remains. I think of how I grope, stumble and am unsure of my direction unless I can rely on Jesus, the light of the world.
– Sacred Space 2017 (Messenger Publications)

The Deep End
What a convoluted Gospel we have today. The healing of the blind man unleashes a chain of chaos and confusion. His neighbours are dumbfounded, the Pharisees are suspicious and at war with one another, and the Jews are cynical, even calling in the man’s parents as witnesses.
The character of Jesus, and of the blind man, are called into question as everyone tries to figure out what has happened. Jesus and the man who has been healed are both accused of being sinners. The interrogators even ridicule the man, asking, ‘Are you trying to teach us, and you a sinner through and through?’
But things are simple for the man who has experienced Jesus’ healing. He knows what he has witnessed, and is ready and willing to attest to it. ‘If this man were not from God,’ he says, ‘he couldn’t do a thing.’ He understands that his encounter with Jesus was extraordinary.
Jesus finally clears up the confusion, turning everything on its head, as is often his way. It is the man who had been blind who sees who Jesus is: ‘Lord, I believe.’ The Pharisees who think they see things clearly are the ones who are really blind to the truth. ‘We are not blind, surely?’ is the question facing all of us as we advance through Lent. Are we open to the Good News and the healing power of Jesus?  – Tríona Doherty, Athlone

(from Intercom)


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