Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – 4th Week of Lent – Sunday – Cycle A – John 9:1-41
In Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles (or “Booths”), a 7-day ritual that remembers Israel’s wanderings in the desert during the Exodus, Christ reveals His divinity through preaching and actions. As a member of the Trinity, Christ inspired the Jews to celebrate this Feast for 1200 years (Lev 23:34-36); in the Incarnation, Christ transfigures key rituals of the Feast of the Tabernacles (Water Libation at the Pool of Siloam; Light Ceremony at the Temple) to reveal His Divinity.
Christ reveals that He is the Light of the World, the Light anticipated in the Light Ceremony. Later, Christ and the disciples pass a man born blind on the Sabbath; the disciples wonder if the man’s blindness is due to either his or his parent’s sin. Christ reveals the man has been born blind so God’s glorious works could be revealed. Replaying Genesis, in which man is created from dust, Christ mixes spit with clay and recreates the blind man’s eyes, telling Him to wash in the Pool of Siloam; Christ uses the Water Libation ritual in to a miraculous prefigurement of Baptism. After washing in the Pool of Siloam, he blind man’s darkness is healed by the Light of the World; the man born blind can see.
Rather than rejoicing in awe of the miraculous healing, the Pharisees, still seeking to kill Christ, attempt to discredit the healing through coercion; they accuse Christ of breaking the sabbath; they intimidate the formerly blind man’s parents; they interrogate the healed man and cast him out of the Temple. The healed man fearlessly confounds the Jews and proclaims Christ’s miracle. Later, Christ finds the man who can now see and reveals that He is the Son of Man; the healed man, convinced, falls to his knees and worships Christ. Christ confirms He has come to judge the world and condemns Pharisees who continue to willfully remain in spiritual darkness.
1) Person of the Trinity, Christ not only establishes the Feast of the Tabernacles but reveals the fuller meaning of key rituals (Water Libation prefigures Baptism, Light Ceremony anticipates Christ, the Light of the World) 1200 years later. Be awed.
2) The formerly blind man goes through a conversion process, calling Christ, a “man”, a “prophet”, that He is “from God” and finally, “Lord.” During Lent, know that God has implanted in your heart a Desire for God (CCC 27-30) and pray for Christ to fully convert your heart and that you might love Him more fully.
3) Christ reveals the mysterious purpose of the blind man’s life is so “the works of God might be made manifest in him.” During Lent, review Thy Will Be Done (CCC 2822-2827) from the Lord’s Prayer and pray that “the works of God might be made manifest” in you.