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Scripture Reflections
Fourth Sunday of Advent - March 19

Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

We’re at the half-way point in Lent. Two weeks ago, we were told to “Listen up!” This week, the readings tell us to get rid of the darkness and to learn to see as God sees.

As Father Richard Rohr says in one of his books, “Because humans do not see their own truth very well, they do not read reality very well either.” As a result of straining away through the darkness, we make many foolish and destructive choices. We’re like a person who fails to turn the light on when entering a room. As a result, we knock over tables and chairs rather than seeing how to use them.

In the first reading, God sends Samuel to go to the house of Jesse in Jerusalem to anoint that son whom God has chosen to succeed Saul as King. God warns Samuel, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart.” Eventually, Samuel finds the least likely son, David, and anoints him King.

If we are to really see clearly, we need to let Jesus heal us of our blindness as He did the man born blind in today’s Gospel. Even though Jesus was right in front of him, the blind man couldn’t see him until Jesus removed the scales from his eyes and restored his sight. Only later, after much harassing from the narrowminded Pharisees, was he able to really see spiritually and see Jesus as the Son of God. It was all possible when he saw through the lens of the Holy Spirit.

We are invited to celebrate this Sunday with joy, because through our baptism and confirmation, we have been invited to live in the light and to act with the power of that light. In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to
the Ephesians, we read, “You were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.”

Through our Lenten discipline, God will remove the darkness in our lives, and help us to respond in faith and love to the Truth about ourselves and our world. Then we will see as God sees!

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