Open Your Eyes.
Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 19, 2023 •
We know He is the Light of the world. Those that live in sin, live in darkness - they are the blind ones. Those who have been forgiven of sin, set free, have their sight restored to them. Now we know Jesus is not referring to physical sight. Yes, in the Gospel He performed a physical miracle, but that wasn't the point of the miracle. He even said to His apostles before He performed it: the reason this man was born blind is so I could do the will of God here. So I can reveal the Truth.
And what is the Truth? Jesus is the Truth. He's revealing Himself by performing this miracle, revealing that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. If you put your faith in Him, He can open your eyes.
These eyes are the eyes of your soul. This is why He was ridiculing the Pharisees in the Gospel. They claim to be able to see - and of course, they have physical vision - but they were spiritually blind because of their sin. They wouldn't open their minds and hearts to God, to Jesus, because they were closed off inside and rejected Him, they remained blind.
It's impossible for someone who is spiritually blind to find happiness or joy. How can you rejoice in the darkness?
I thought it appropriate today that we talk about happiness from the Church's teaching. . . .
Those who have sight - those who our Lord has healed and given spiritual vision - they see and pursue those things in this life those things which will help them obtain not only perfect happiness in the next, but even a taste of perfect happiness here on earth. And what are those things? . . .
There are 14 of them: the works of mercy. The works of mercy are the works that Jesus Christ Himself performs. And since He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, we who follow Him do not walk in darkness.
Whenever we perform these works, we are beginning to live and love like Christ, and we begin to experience the love and life of Christ in Heaven even here on earth.
The Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To harbour the harbourless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offences willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead.
I recommend each family have the works of mercy printed out, large, and posted somewhere; on the fridge, a bulletin board, where you can see it each day. Challenge yourself, your spouse, even your children, to look at that list and say: Which one am I going to try to do today?
1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41
Homily begins at 22:20