by Deacon Robin Cheung
"The Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue." Jn 9:22b
Time flies! We are already stepping into the second half of the Lenten season!
Today, we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Lent
Let us continue to pray, fast,and give alms to glorify and praise our Lord!
The Church reminds us once again that God loves us so deeply that He hopes we will follow the true light of His beloved Son. Therefore, my dear friends, let us thank the Lord for His kindness and pray that He will continue to enhance our spiritual eyesight
, so that we can see more clearly our iniquities of bias and judgmental attitudes and the value of others so as to transform ourselves and walk with others towards eternal life!
Praise the Lord!
In today’s first reading, the prophet Samuel is sent to the house of Jesse of Bethlehem, to anoint one of his sons as king. While there, he sees Eliab, who was tall and handsome. He thought that he was the Lord's choice.
However, the Lord said to him, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as the human sees; the human looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart
” (1 Samuel 16:6-7).
St. James also said it well: "My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1).
Do we sometimes judge or stereotype others because of their appearance, culture, wealth, and sex, or because of their differences?
The second reading from St. Paul reminds us that we should live as children of light
and encourages us to try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
In fact "to live as children of light" and "what is pleasing to the Lord" are intricately related.
God is very happy that we live in His love and enjoy His grace. However, he also understands our weakness: in fact, the most pleasing gift to Him, I believe, is our contrite hearts!
Are we pleasing God so far in this Lenten season?
Today, in the Gospel, the healing of the blind and the prejudicial attitudes of the authorities reflect the importance of our spiritual sight!
God is light, without God’s light, nobody can see.
Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind” (Jn 9:39).
Indeed, Jesus comes to the world to heal our spiritual blindness so that we can recognize him as the way, the truth, and the life!
Therefore, instead of focusing on the blindness of others, why don’t we pay more attention to ourselves?
What cause our spiritual blindness, you might ask?
Our attitudes of arrogance
, our prejudice
, our discrimination
and all of our bad dispositions, will eventually make us blind!
The good news is that if we choose to follow Christ and His light, which will brighten our faith
, and love
, and restore our spiritual vision, then we will be able to walk towards eternal life.
"What is the holy light of Christ?" you may ask.
It is God’s mercy, compassion, and forgiveness!
Dear friends in Christ, let us take heed, then, when St. Paul says:
“Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).
Likewise, let us also pray for those who are still walking in the darkness: may the holy light of Christ guide them and shower them with His blessings!
May the holy light of Christ lead us all to everlasting life!
Our Lady, help of Christians! Pray for us!
[Readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year A: 1 Samuel 16:1B, 6-7, 10-13A; Psalms 23: 1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6.; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41]
Deacon Robin Cheung
is a permanent deacon serving in the Archdiocese of Montreal. Previously, he served at Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. Currently, he is at St. John Brébeuf Parish in LaSalle.
Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Journey through the Lenten Season with special Salt + Light programming, reflections, and educational resources.