Archdiocese News - The Blind Man Sunday [English/Arabic]

[Arabic Version]

Last Sunday, the Sunday of the Samaritan woman the topic of the “Light and Love” predominated. On this Sunday, there is a return to the theological and liturgical theme of light. Here, too, more particularly, there is a reminder of the link between the Resurrection of Christ, His Love and the light that shines into our consciousness. An external event, be it even the Resurrection of our Lord, has no practical value for souls unless it translates itself, in them, into an increase of that inner Light which must direct our whole life. The light of Christ is an essential paschal theme. It is this theme which is developed on the sixth Sunday of the Easter season, called the “Sunday of the Blind Man”, when the healing of a blind man is commemorated and leads to the idea of our own blindness and healing through Christ.

At the Liturgy, we hear the gospel account of the healing of the blind man (John 9: 1- 38). Jesus meets a man who was born blind; having applied a mixture of clay and spittle to his eyes, Jesus sends the man to wash in the pool of Siloan. Expelled by the Pharisees, the man who was blind is found by Jesus (it is not he who finds Jesus, but Jesus who finds him). Jesus asks him if he believes in the Son of God, and he said: Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

How many times, have Jesus found you? Have you stopped for a moment and thought how many times you were down, depressed… and the Lord came and took your hands and helped you? The episode illustrates the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened”, and what Jesus Himself said: “The Spirit of the Lord… hath sent me… to preach… recovering of sight to the blind”, this blindness symbolises the spiritual blindness from which Jesus heals men. Christ, our God, Sun of Righteousness beyond all understanding.

“O Thou who, in touching him, didst open the eyes of the man born blind, open the eyes of our souls and make us children of light”.

The epistle at the liturgy, is from the book of (Acts 16:16-34) and tells us what happened to Paul and Silas at Philippi. The two apostles heal a young girl who was possessed. Paul and Silas are arrested for disturbing public order, beaten and imprisoned. “In the middle of the night, there is an earthquake which shakes the foundations of the prison. The doors open and the chains fall off. The gaoler is converted, is baptised and then takes Paul and Silas into his own home. The two central verses of this portion of Acts seems to us to be the short dialogue between the gaoler and his prisoners: in this reading: “Sir, what must I do to be saved? - Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house”. What he asks for, immediately, is an act of faith, not in the word- of which the gaoler is still ignorant- but in the person of Jesus. The gaoler must recognise that “Jesus Christ is the Lord”. This act of faith is an act of obedience and of trust by which the distressed person throws himself at Jesus’ feet- as the gaoler had just thrown himself, trembling, at the feet of Paul and Silas. Before explain all the intellectual consequences of our faith in Christ, we must first, we must above all, believe in Jesus as him who is the Lord, and whose rights over us are absolute. The most scrupulous Orthodoxy would not be able to save us if this was not our attitude towards Christ, and if this attitude did not bear its fruits. We will not miss the comparison between the act of faith proposed by Paul to the gaoler and that which Jesus Himself called for, in today’s gospel, from the blind man whom He had healed, please dear reader, re-read the Epistle, contemplate on its meaning. Compare it to your everyday life, relationship to your brothers and sisters. The practical part of your life – if there is any. What is read on our ears is to think of, to try practices it in our life, to makes it part of our life. A change happened in the life of the goaler, is there any change in your life?


Metropolitan Archbishop Paul

Primate of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines

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