Mgr Gerard’s Reflection – 4th Sunday of Lent

I was telling a friend about a woman with lung cancer. He asked, “How long did she smoke?” Actually, the woman has never smoked, but I understood the question. There’s something scary about having an element of random chaos in our lives. Never has there been so much as we face today with COVID-19. We like our world ordered and reliable, a world where virtuous non -smokers don’t have to worry about lung cancer. The Pharisees in today’s gospel like an orderly, reliable world too. They see blindness as the result of sin. So when Jesus gives sight, their worldview is threatened. The blind man, however, seems to be living with random chaos. He is blind, and it’s nobody’s fault. And then Jesus walks by… It’s a powerful contrast. The Pharisees, clinging rigidly to their ideas, move deeper into darkness. But the beggar’s eyes are open, literally and figuratively. He moves through stages towards faith and becomes a sign of the works of God. The same with us. God comes to us in the random chaos of our lives and touches us with grace. But we have to open our hearts and minds to him. This is when we see Jesus at work in our lives and become like him, especially during this difficult time, where people are self -isolating, the elderly are housebound, parents are coping with children at home. We all need to look out for one another, random acts of kindness, even a phone-call to check people are coping. We must be aware of our neighbour, stop panic buying and be kind and thoughtful towards others.