Survey for Bishop's Visit

When the Bishop visits on July 14th, we will present a report about our Parish. We have prepared a survey, so each of you can share your opinion and have the opportunity to be part of this report. Please take a few moments to fill out the survey so that your voices can be heard!

March 19, 2023

IV Sunday of Lent
Year A
Fr. Jon Reardon

The question that is posed to Jesus about the blind man – who sinned, this man or parents, that he was born blind? In other words – why has this happened to him? Why did God do this to him?

          Before we tackle this problem, lets understand something about this Gospel and the drama that enfolds. The Fathers of the Church view this miracle as symbolizing the Sacrament of Baptism through the medium of water. By washing in the pool, the man receives more than just sight – he also receives the light of faith. We see in this miracle the purpose of the sacramental life of the Church – Jesus uses ordinary elements of everyday life, things with which we are familiar, that we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell – He uses the senses to lift the soul. Notice how the drama unfolds… Neither the blind man, his parents or the Pharisees really understand what happened. All the blind man knows is that his encounter with Jesus healed his blindness…

          It is in this encounter that helps us to dive a bit more deeply into the problem of suffering. The question posed to Jesus – why did this happen to him? We ask this question all the time – why am I being put through this trial? Why does God allow such suffering? I think we get very confused especially when children suffer… Is it because of our sins? Is suffering the way in which God punishes us … On the one hand, the misfortunes of our lives are a direct result of the Fall of Adam and Eve … not to mention that our own personal sins can get us into trouble as well… Nevertheless, this does not mean that it is God punishing us…Suffering can actually be a resource that God sends us to cleanse us our imperfections, to purify our hearts, to assist us in the exercise of virtue … Suffering can be a great gift that unites us to Jesus Christ who willing suffered for our sakes.

          In this encounter with Jesus, the blind man is healed, he is given eyes to see – not just physical sight but spiritual sight as well … The Sacramental life of the Church is our means of encounter with Jesus… particularly in Confession and the Eucharist – we encounter God’s mercy, cleanses us of our sins … we are fed with the very life of Christ that strengthens our faith, that purifies our hearts, that assists us in the practice of virtue … The Sacraments help us to look past our sufferings to see Jesus more clearly. The sacraments lift our souls to a deeper spiritual vision and greater union with Jesus Christ.

          Instead of asking if we or someone else is punished by God due to some suffering or difficulty, rather let’s ask Him how it is we can grow in love for Him and for others through the sufferings and challenges of life … let us ask Him to help us to see Him with greater clarity …

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