Today’s Gospel is so rich in symbolism.
One commentary I ready had 10 pages of notes and explanations.
The mud that Jesus placed on the blind man’s eyes recalls the second creation story in the Book of Genesis.
In that story God created mankind from mud and breathed life into us.
Jesus tells the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam and the waters in the pool remind us of our baptism.
Baptism is where we received the gift of faith.
When the blind Man washes the mud from his eyes he experiences light and sight or the first time.
His whole world is changed.
Everything is changed for him.
You know even when you close your eyes or stand in a pitch dark room you never really understand what a person blind from birth experiences.
Anyone who has every seen even for a moment has the the memory of sight.
A person born blind has no memory of seeing.
They have never seen anything.
When a blind person can see they relate to the world in a completely different way.
That is why this is such a beautiful powerful miracle.
The sight that the man born blind experiences changes everything.
Just like the light of our faith should change everything.
There are three main characters or groups of characters in the Gospel passage.
Jesus takes the first step.
He seeks the blind man out and longs to give him the gift of sight and the light of faith.
God always takes the first step.
Next there is the man born blind.
To be healed he had to respond to Jesus’ request.
Jesus asked him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam
and that is what he did.
He could have brushed Jesus off,
he could have pushed Jesus away when he approached him,
he could have wiped off the mud with his hand or went home to wash it.
He did not do any of these things.
He did what Jesus asked him to do.
He did it right away.
He did it without hesitation and his quick and some might say radical response earned him the precious gifts of sight and the even more precious gift of faith.
The last group of characters were the Pharisees.
They were able to see but they chose not to see or believe.
They chose to be blind to God’s miraculous presence in the man born blind’s life..
They experienced the power of God, they saw the miracle with their own eyes yet they refused to see or believe.
The Pharisees were dumb founded because such a powerful miracle was performed by a man they thought was a radical sinner.
The blind man responded to God’s call and received the gift of faith.
The Pharisees experienced the same call and chose to be blind to God’s love and God’s miracle.
This Gospel asks us,
challenges us to look at ourselves.
Are we like the Pharisees who refuse to see God’s love and presence in our lives?
How many miracles have we failed to acknowledge in our lives and the lives of those we love.
What about that ..
what marriage you thought wouldn’t last?
that kid who suddenly turned himself around?
that sickness which was discovered in time and healed?
the person struggling with an addiction who somehow? finds sobriety after so many relapses?
that long standing argument or fight in your family which seemed to disappear when someone miraculously took the first step?
that moment of peace or experience of beauty which lifts us up and reminds us that we are not alone?
All of us have seen miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle..
Like the man born blind we can chose to SEE the active presence of God in our lives
Or like the Pharisees we can chose to be blind to it…
The message of this passage is simple
Our faith is all about how we chose to look at life.
May all of us chose to see>