Fourth Sunday of Lent
22 March 2020
Gospel: Jesus Heals the Blind Man
Reflection by Bishop Donal
In today's Gospel we encounter a man who has been born blind. This man suffers from the great drawback of physical blindness. And yet, the Gospel tells us that it is he who, in his encounter with Jesus, sees who Jesus is and guides the way in discipleship. The religious authorities - who have no physical sight impairment - are blinded by lack of trust and inability to believe.
Reflections for discussion and consideration:
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is Laetare Sunday, the mid-point in our Lenten journey. The Latin word laetare means "rejoice". (Laetare Sunday parallels with Gaudete Sunday in Advent). We rejoice in the gift of faith. We rejoice in the Good News of the Gospel. And yet, we are we sometimes more comfortable being blind to its message. Why is this? Why do we sometimes not see our way to rejoice in it?
In what areas has the Irish Church been blind in the past and in the present? What is needed if we are to overcome that blindness?
Today's Gospel invites us to focus on the spiritual aspects of sight and light, rather than the physical ability to see. How can we be beacons of light and encouragement to fellow parishioners in 2020, enabling them to share in the joys of building God's kingdom and seeing Jesus as the One who heals and offers hope?
+ Donal McKeown
Bishop of Derry