Thursday, March 31, 2011

4th Sunday of Lent, April 3 2011 (Cycle A)

Today's Readings, Psalm and Gospel passage
Everyone loves an underdog.  We are usually reminded of this at this time of year when the national collegiate basketball tournament is going on.  There are usually one or two teams that come "out of nowhere" to upset some of the more well known powerhouse teams, with their vintage recruiting classes and posessing popular acclaim.

Today we hear in our first reading about how David became king.  David a true underdog, who was the shepherd boy and the least of his brethren.  So much so that he was an afterthought of his own Father when Samuel came to anoint the new King of Israel.  "He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance.  But, not as man sees does God see, the Lord looks into the heart."  The Lord knew that David was capable of being a heroic figure and at the core of his heart knew that his place was to live as a servant of the Lord.

Isn't it ironic, that 3500 years after David walked the earth, Michelangelo was staring at a piece of marble that was marked for discard because it was flawed.  Yet the great sculptor took the rock and found the beauty within it to create the famous statue, "The David".  As if God helped Michelangelo look past the flaws, the ones that the men see and into the heart of the precious stone.  Because of what Michelangelo did with its flaw critics universally acclaim its beauty and significance.  They say the statue signifies two things: David is poised and ready to strike yet passive and relaxed.
Today we hear about the miracle of the blind man given sight in John's Gospel.  The man who stood by and begged all these years and was ignored by the Pharisees because he was "unclean" and flawed.  

He is given the remedy by the true Messiah, who fashions his ointment out of the earth, reminding us of how man was created.  Jesus sends him then to a purification bath, honoring the established law.  But the Pharisees refuse to believe that this is a divine healing and then condemn it because it was done on the Sabbath.

Today's scripture reminds us that God works in unforeseen ways.  God's grace is overflowing as long as we use our eyes of faith to see.  The  blind man is healed and the Jewish leaders are caught up in his supposed sinfulness and then how the remedy violates the sabbath laws.

Today we are called to be open to faith and to see the things of God with new vision.  David is called and relies on God to give him the strength to be courageous and lead.  He remains faithful and mindfully humbles himself before God which is the true testament to his greatness.  How far have the Pharisees fallen when all they can do is look for the "technicality" to beat down the grace of the Messiah's work.

We are like the blind man who no longer is in the dark.  He and we are given the blessing to "see" the world in a different way.  Afterward, we are called to recognize the origin of the gift, the sacrificial Messiah; to give praise where praise is due.  Then we can realize that our faith is a gift, and if we are open to its graces, then it is no longer I who see, but Christ who sees through me.

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