Sunday Soundbite for March 19, 2023

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Cycle A
March 19, 2023

Three great stories in the Gospel of John have for centuries served as Scriptural instructions for those preparing for baptism. Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman and this is the Sunday Soundbite for the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Last week we heard the story of the Samaritan woman; next week that of Lazarus. Today, the “man born blind” takes center stage. In Catholic parishes today, candidates for baptism stand before us, perhaps picturing themselves as the man in the story.

For the early Church, “illumination” was a theme of baptism. Saint Augustine suggested that the man born blind stood for the whole human race, needing to see the light of Christ. The late Scripture scholar Father Raymond Brown notes that the man undergoes testing or questioning by various individuals after he is “enlightened.” His witness develops until he finally encounters Jesus a second time and professes his faith. It’s symbolic of how our faith grows through choices we make in life.

Father Brown also notes how those around the man are affected by his initial encounter with Jesus. Some come to faith; others are hardened in their rejection of Jesus. No one remains indifferent, it seems.

How do we witness to Jesus? Can people detect the light of Christ shining in us? If not, perhaps part of our Lenten activity might involve a self-scrutiny, and some steps toward enlightenment.

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1 thought on “Sunday Soundbite for March 19, 2023”

  1. This morning I was just thinking about “seeing” versus “knowing.” We often think we know something if we can also see it. But then you have to ask yourself, “What am I seeing or witnessing, exactly?” The Bible mentions how blindness is a sin. I guess it can also be said that ignorance is a sin. But to what extent are we responsible for our own ignorance? But how can you say you are ignorant when the truth is apparent and right in front of you? There is obviously a certain amount of rebelliousness to say something doesn’t exist when it does. The Bible refers to that as having an obtuse spirit, right?

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