Homily (Reflection) for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (A) (26th March, 2017) on the Gospel
Ps 22 (R. v.1)
Jn 9:1-41 or 1.6-9.13-17.34-38.
Topic: Christians and God’s Ways.
In today’s gospel we see one of outright rejections of Jesus by the Pharisees. Even the miracles He performed that would have led them to the knowledge that He is from God could not achieve that, cf. v 16. Jesus’ coming into the world as man is for us to have life, and have it abundantly, cf. Jn 10:10. God who spoke to our ancestors by the prophets in many and various ways came to speak to us by his Son (cf. Heb 1:1-2), the light of the world, (cf. Jn 8:12. 9:5).
The gospel according to John reads:
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God (Jn 1:10-12).
The Pharisees in today’s gospel said “… we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from”. One may ask whether the Moses they said that they were his disciples was the same Moses who spoke with Jesus during His transfiguration, cf. Matt 17:3-6. Again Jesus said to the crowd: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them” (Matt 5:17). The law refers to the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
The Pharisees rejected Jesus in today’s gospel because He cured the man born blind on a Sabbath. They fail to recognise that the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath, cf. Matt 12:8; Mk 2:28; Lk 6:5. Some Christians today like the Pharisees do think that they are to direct God on what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it, and even to whom and through whom to act. The prophet Isaiah rightly wrote “… as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:9). One of the major problems rocking us Christians is that many have refused to be under God who is our Lord and Master, cf. Matt 7:21. Jesus queries, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Lk 6:46) We need to understand God better. We ought to follow Jesus to have the light of life, cf. Jn 8:12.
A man told about a trip he took with his little boy, two and a half years old. It was the first time the father and the boy had been away by themselves – just the two of them. The first night they spent in a hotel, the father moved his bed close to the little boy’s and when they were both tucked in, he turned off the light. After a few minutes, a little voice said: “It sure is dark, isn’t it?” “Yes,” said the father, “it’s pretty dark, but everything is all right.” There was silence for a few more minutes, and then a little hand reached over and took the father’s hand. “I’ll just hold your hand,” said the little boy, “in case you get scared.”
As we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Lent, it is pertinent to examine ourselves to see to what extent we are God’s children. The First Letter of Saint John reads, “By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother” (1Jn 3:10). In the gospel we read: “He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (Jn 3:18). It is to those “… who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (Jn 1:12), a special gift from God himself, 1Jn 3:1. Let us live as the servants of God that we are, cf. 1Pt 2:16.
Bible Readings: Rom 9:6-18; 11:11-24; Phil 2:1-18; 1Jn 2:7-17; 3:1-24; 1Pt 2:11-17.
Thought for today: Do you accept God and His ways?
Let us pray:
Merciful Father, as we celebrate your love for us sinners, give us the grace to accept you and your ways always even when they are not in line with what we want – Amen.
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