GOSPEL – John 9:1-41 As this gospel reading is quite long, it is more practical use your own Bible to read the text.
This story is found only in the Fourth Gospel, although the other Gospels do tell of blind men (never women!) recovering their sight.
POINTERS FOR PRAYER
- The blind man makes a journey of faith, rooted in an experience of healing from the hand of Jesus. This experience has potential to grow and deepen. What has been my experience of the healing presence of Jesus in my life? Prayer of thanksgiving.
- Under pressure, the blind man and the community he stands for are obliged to reflect again and again on what they really believe. What has happened to my faith in times of pressure against believing? Prayer of faith.
- Amazing Grace has the words: I once was lost, and now I’m found. Jesus goes out of his way to find the blind man and bring him through the next stage of faith. What has my experience of finding my “self ” been? When have I been touched by Jesus? Is he reaching out to me now? Prayer of conversion.
- The blind man witnesses to his experience, in spite of conventional, even orthodox opposition. Perhaps this has been part of my experience too? Prayer of witnessing
One thing is central for the journey of the man born blind: he is unable to deny his personal experience of healing through his encounter with Christ. All I know is I once was blind but now I see. It is likely that a corner stone of our faith is also some such foundational experience. It would be very good for us all if we could name that experience and own it as we go forward in faith. In this way, we may be able to fulfil the words in the first letter of Peter: always be ready to give an account of the hope that is in you…in the first place, to ourselves and only then, perhaps, to others.
How we respond to pressure can vary very much from person to person. In John’s Gospel, there are two related stories of people being healed, one in chapter 5 and the other in chapter 9, today’s reading. The man at the pool eventually betrays Jesus. The man born blind resists pressure and even grows on the strength of it. Part of his energy comes from his experience— no matter what others may say about Jesus, he himself once was blind and now he sees! His courageous attachment to what he knows from his personal encounter with Jesus leads eventually to a full act of faith.