Reading:1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Reading : Ephesians 5:8-14; Gospel :John 9:1-41
‘Blind? If you were, you would not be guilty, but since you say, “We see,” your guilt remains.’
The length of this story by John is surprising. He must have been an eyewitness. Of course, he adds his theology to it, as usual. His basic message is about blindness and vision. Let us forget the story and come to the conclusion.
When a woman walks on the road what do people see? The priest sees a faithful, the doctor sees a patient, the lover sees a beauty, the politician sees a vote, a yogi sees a skeleton, covered by skin, with lots of foul material inside!
A man was seeking a job in a circus. During the interview, he flew in the air in front of the manager to show his extraordinary skills. The manager, who had decided not to employ him, said that he was just imitating the birds! Then the young man took the manager to a pond nearby and just walked on water! The manager, unimpressed, said that he did not even know swimming!
Seeing things as they are in reality is not easy. Immanuel Kant said that we perceive objects and events not as they are but as we are conditioned to see them, with our pre-fixed categories. They are prejudices, a pre-disposition to perceive reality from a particular point of interest. Jesus was a victim of this blindness. Everyone saw him differently. The Jews and the Pharisees saw him as irreligious and a national threat! Even today Christ is the victim of blindness, even of his own disciples!
There is a wonderful prayer in the Gospel: “Lord, that I may see!” It is only the child and the saint who see things as they are. In between, all the rest of us see everything through our own lenses. It takes a life-time to learn to see. And when we “see” things as they are, we would have reached holiness! It is actually a grace, the gift of sight, one for which all of us must pray daily!