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Sunday, March 2, 2008

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13
Ephesians 5:8-14
Psalm 23
John 9:1-41

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blind man's bluff

"Some of the Pharisees around Him picked this up, saying, 'You are not calling us blind, are You?' " —John 9:40

Jesus told the Pharisees they were blind. He called them blind guides and blind fools (Mt 23:16, 17, 24, 26). He called the apostles blind when He exclaimed: "Are your minds completely blinded? Have you eyes but no sight?" (Mk 8:17-18) Jesus called the whole church of Laodicea blind (Rv 3:17).

Jesus may be calling us spiritually blind right now. How will we take Jesus' diagnosis of our condition? Will we become defensive, or will we thank Jesus for telling us the truth? The Pharisees got angry at Jesus for calling them blind. They blinded themselves (see Is 29:9) to being blind. They resented the man cured of blindness and threw him out of the synagogue (Jn 9:34). They even tried to impose blindness on everyone else. The Pharisees became so blind that they became darkness (see Eph 5:8). As darkness, they hated the light (Jn 3:20). They hated Jesus, "the Light of the world" (Jn 9:5), and crucified Him.

Spiritual blindness is degenerative. It turns into darkness and violence. We must admit our spiritual blindness (2 Cor 4:4) and ask Jesus to heal us. Otherwise, we will hurt and even crucify our Healer (see Heb 6:6) and those whom He has healed of spiritual blindness. Let Jesus heal you from being blind to your spiritual blindness.

Prayer:  Father, today on this Lenten Sunday, scrutinize my heart and free me from blindness before it becomes worse.

Promise:  "Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart." —1 Sm 16:7

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Whose heart was pierced so our hearts could be healed! Praise Jesus, the risen Son, Who has banished darkness forever.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Blindness on audio AV 65-1 or video V-65.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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