Reflections on Fourth Sunday of Lent

by Sr. Philomena Anne of Divine Mercy, O.Carm.

Photo Courtesy: Google Image

The First Reading from the Book of Samuel talks about anointing a king.  In this story of the Old Testament, the Israelites wanted a king like all the other nations.  Samuel was not happy about it but God gave the people what they wanted.  Samuel went to the house of Jesse where God sent him to anoint a king.  Samuel looked at one of Jesse's sons, Eliab, and thought him to be surely the one that was chosen by God.  But God said "Do not judge by appearance. He is not the one."  God explains that man looks at appearance but He looks at the heart.  God is right.  Human beings very quickly judge on appearance.  But, who has not?  What we should be doing is to look at the person and try to see if he or she is kind and compassionate.  When Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, Jesse replied that his youngest is working in the field. His name was David and he was tending the sheep.  He was brought forward and God instructed Samuel to anoint him for he was the one that God had chosen.  Here, David is a shepherd of sheep and God's Son, Jesus, is the Shepherd of souls.  There is a similarity between King David and Jesus.  God sent Jesus into the world as Shepherd of souls and bring us back to God.

Our Gospel reading tells the story of a man born blind.  The disciples asked Jesus whose sin it was that caused the man's blindness: the man's or his parents.  Back in those days any infirmity was looked upon as a curse from God.  Jesus told the disciples that the sins were neither of this man or his parents.  The man was born blind to manifest the power of God.  After God healed him and gave him sight, they still did not believe Jesus.  They brought the man before the Pharisees. They thought that because they were followers of Moses they were privileged and all the rest of humanity was born in sin!  I feel in this Gospel that whether you are religious or not,  disabled or not, we are all guilty of sin.  We are not any better than someone else.  We are often quick to see the faults of our neighbors that we do not see our own sinful faults.   This should remind us that we are all blind in many ways.  We need to meditate on what faults or sins hinder our relationship with God.  Once we see what they may be, we can then try everyday to work at fixing it so we can grow more and more in our personal relationship with God.  I also feel that this Gospel teaches us to be compassionate and kind to one another no matter what people's faults may be, or what people look like.  If we were all the same, then there would be no use to show compassion, is there?

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