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Readings

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

 

Calendar

March 24: Anniversary of the Assassination of Oscar Romero in 1980

March 22: World Water Day

March 25: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 25: Earth Hour at 8:30pm (http://bit.ly/2mGZFmQ)

March 25: International Day for the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Readings

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

 

Calendar

March 24: Anniversary of the Assassination of Oscar Romero in 1980

March 22: World Water Day

March 25: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 25: Earth Hour at 8:30pm (http://bit.ly/2mGZFmQ)

March 25: International Day for the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

March 26: 50th Anniversary of Populorum Progressio (written in 1967)

 

Quotes

Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ in order to bear fruit in our lives, to eliminate unchristian behaviors.

— Pope Francis, 30 March 2014

It is in community that we come to see God in the other. It is in community that we see our own emptiness filled up. It is community that calls me beyond the pinched horizons of my own life, my own country, my own race, and gives me the gifts I do not have within me.

— Joan Chittister, OSB

In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus began his public life by reading a passage from Isaiah that introduced his ministry and the mission of every parish. The parish must proclaim the transcendent message of the gospel and help:

— U.S. Bishops, Communities of Salt and Light

The Sunday of the man born blind presents Christ as the light of the world. The Gospel confronts each one of us with the question: “Do you believe in the Son of man?” “Lord, I believe!” (John 9: 35. 38), the man born blind joyfully exclaims, giving voice to all believers. The miracle of this healing is a sign that Christ wants not only to give us sight, but also open our interior vision, so that our faith may become ever deeper and we may recognize him as our only Savior. He illuminates all that is dark in life and leads men and women to live as “children of the light”.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2011

Let us ask ourselves about the state of our own heart. Do I have an open heart or a closed heart? It is opened or closed to God? Open or closed to my neighbor?

— Pope Francis, 30 March 2014

 

 

Thoughts for Your Consideration

As we reflect on the experience of the man born blind, we might reflect on the millions of people in our world who experience actual physical blindness.  In light of Catholic Social Teaching, we might also look at the spiritual or cultural blindness that we all encounter in our world and the desire of Christ to heal us and our world.

22% of children in the United States live in families below the official poverty line, yet many of us don’t see them.  45% of the children in the United States live in low income families yet most of us are unaware.  Billions of people throughout the world experience poverty, yet many people of the world don’t notice them.  Millions of people in the United States have lived here for decades as productive members of our society, yet we are not aware of their lack of legal status.   They are forced to “hide” in fear of deportation.

We live in a marvelous world and in a creation that is filled with goodness and gifts to be shared and respected.  Yet, so many people miss the beauty and goodness. Corporations see resources to be exploited for profit.  Nations see materials and lands to be controlled in a spirit of power and greed. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis challenges us to see things differently.

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by all the problems and we do not see the hopeful possibilities that can unfold by the power of God. Sometimes we see people, not as they are, but through the lens of our prejudice and stereotypes. Racism, xenophobia, prejudice and other attitudes can affect our vision.

How we see is often affected by the media and other cultural forces in our society. Thus, we experience a certain blindness even though our eyes are working. We hear what people tell us and see what they show us, but we don’t see for ourselves and we don’t always see what is there.

Christ wants us to have open eyes and ready hearts, so that we can see and then have the freedom to act with justice and love.  As we reflect on today’s scriptures, we might reflect on our need to see things in a new way -outside of the box of our culture – outside of the limits of our American way of looking at things – outside of the ideologies of our age — outside of the propaganda of our world – outside of the ideological perspectives of politics.

The story of John 9 is a powerful story about how one person comes to see while so many other people continue to be trapped by their own blindness. We all have our personal blind spots and prejudices.  Our cultures have their blind spots and prejudices as well.  Christ calls to be free. Christ us to see in a new way, just as Samuel learned to see “not as man sees but as God sees.”

Only when we see clearly do can we respect our neighbors and begin to work for justice.

 

 

Questions for Reflection in Your Faith Sharing Group

When were you “blind” in a certain situation?

What helped you to see it all in a new way? [What healed your blindness?]

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How has your faith grown or changed?

How has your commitment to justice changed or developed?

How have come to see a situation of injustice in a new way?

 

 

Stories

How the monkeys saved the fish: http://bit.ly/2n3Ypwp 

 

 

Actions—Links 

Protect Children, Not Guns

Pope says closing firms without protecting workers is a “very grave sin”

Tell the EPA: Attacking Clean Air Standards is the Wrong Move

 

 

“Crazy Facts”

Displaced People

Children in the United States

People who are visually impaired

 

 

Prayers of Intercession

Response:  God, help us to see in a new way.

For those who are living in poverty, we pray….

For all those who are homeless, we pray….

For those who are without proper medical care, we pray….

For those who are visually impaired, we pray….

For those living with mental illness, we pray….

For those caught up in the wars that are waging all around the world, we pray…..

For refugees and immigrants, we pray….

For all those of other religions, we pray….

For women throughout the world, we pray….

For single parents, we pray….

For all those who seem to be different than ourselves, we pray….

 

 

Prayer – Meditation 

God, I believe that you can do new things.  Help my unbelief!

I believe that you can help us to make a way in the desert. Help my unbelief.

I believe that you want to create rivers through the wasteland. Help my unbelief.

I believe that we are not stuck to just repeat the evils of the past.  Help my unbelief.

I believe that I can do things that I was not able to do before.  Help my unbelief.

I believe that I might be able to forgive my enemy.  Help my unbelief.

I believe that peace among nations is possible.  Help my unbelief.

I believe that we can overcome the ways of violence. Help my unbelief.

I believe that we can eliminate hunger and poverty.  Help my unbelief

I believe that we can overcome racism. Help my unbelief.

I believe that we can create homes for everyone.  Help my unbelief.

I believe that we can finally drop the stones of condemnation. Help my unbelief.

I believe that we will have a new heaven and a new earth. Help my unbelief.

I believe that with your Spirit we can all see things in a new way. Help my unbelief.

God, I believe that together we can do new things.  Help my unbelief! Amen.

 

 

Images

http://bit.ly/2mxtx3x 

 

Song

“Open My Eyes” by Jesse Manibusan: http://bit.ly/2nsB6Nw 

Fourth Sunday of Lent [a]

March 26, 2017

Date Added: March 16, 2017

Click here to view free sample resources.