Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (A/Second Scrutiny) – March 31, 2019
At the 11:45 Masses during Lent, we are privileged to journey alongside the elect as they prepare for the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil—baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. On the three Sundays prior to Holy Week, we witness the celebration of the scrutinies, rites of the Church designed to uncover and heal all that is weak or sinful in the elect so as to summon forth and strengthen all that is strong and good. While the scrutinies are addressed primarily to those in RCIA, we too can participate in them as a way to turn our hearts back to Christ, acknowledging the need for our own ongoing conversion toward the one who guides and shepherds us. Accompanying the three scrutinies are selections from John’s Gospel, especially chosen to focus our attention on Christ as Savior and Redeemer. In hearing the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well last Sunday, the spirits of the elect are built up by Christ who is the living water. This Sunday, the cure of the man born blind leads the elect to experience Christ as the light of the world. Lastly, the raising of Lazarus brings the elect to meet Christ as the resurrection and the life. As we listen to these Gospel narratives this Lent, how are we allowing Christ to fortify us with living water, to open our eyes and heal our blindness, and raise us up from death to newness of life with him?
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back able to see. His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” He said, “I am.” They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. Then they threw him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Praise the One who breaks the darkness with a liberating light.
Praise the One who frees the prisoners, turning blindness into sight.
Praise the One who preached the gospel, curing every dread disease,
calming storms and feeding thousands with the very bread of peace.
Praise the one true love incarnate, Christ, who suffered in our place.
Jesus died and rose for many that we may know God by grace.
Let us sing for joy and gladness, seeing what our God has done.
Praise the one redeeming glory, praise the One who makes us one.