Sunday Homily for 4th Sunday of Lent
Theme: Seeing Beyond Religion and Rituals Jn 9:1-41 Fr. Juan Pablo Z. Carpio
When the disciples saw the man born blind, they saw sin. What Jesus saw was the opportunity that God’s work be seen in him. When the Pharisees saw the man cured from his blindness, some of them saw a violation of the sabbath. The man formerly blind saw a Prophet and he believed and worshiped him.
When Jesus healed the Man born blind on a sabbath when lifting a fin- ger to work was forbidden, by spitting on the ground making a mud and with his fingers, putting the mud on the blind man’s eyes then after washing in the pool of Siloam began to see, what do we see? Do we belong to those “who have eyes but cannot see?
Today, the fourth Sunday of Lent, also called “Laetare” Sunday, after three weeks of Lenten journey, what have we seen so far? When we were asked to “Re- pent and believe in the Gospel”, can we now rejoice because somehow we have seen ourselves in relation to God, neighbor and ourselves? Signs help. In fact, our lives are governed by signs for order as a community or as an individual. When we see a red lane, we have to keep clear from it and not park our vehicle there for it may be reserved for emergency vehicles or our parking there will obstruct or even block other vehicles and thus impede the traffic flow.
Religion and rituals are signs of our expressions of love, worship, thanks- giving, penitence and petition addressed to God. When we see a priest incensing the altar, cross or image of the Blessed Mother, we see our prayers rising up to God or the Blessed Mother.
When we kneel, we see our littleness or even sinfulness before God. When we listen to the word of God, we see God speaking directly to us. When we sing during the mass, we see the choirs of angels in heaven joining our acclamation. When we see a priest elevating the host and chalice, we see Christ lifted on the cross for our salvation. When we have a stampita of Ina, we see her protection, help and comfort when we are ill. But when we wear a cross or sign ourselves with the cross before doing an illegal or immoral act, it is meaningless. When we enthrone the Sacred Heart in our homes, offices or classrooms but use the place as a den of thieves, it is desecration even a sacrilege.
It is blindness. Look at ourselves. See the signs so we can rejoice, because Jesus has started to heal our blindness. Withal, in this Year of Ecumenism, Inter- religious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, we have to see beyond differences in expressions of Faith, and thus see the desire of God that not only Jews and Catholics, but all be may be one.