Engaging Faith | Mon, Mar 20, 2017
Fourth Sunday of Lent [a]
March 26, 2017
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
March 24: Anniversary of the Assassination of Oscar Romero in 1980
March 22: World Water Day
March 25: Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
March 25: Earth Hour at 8:30pm (http://bit.ly/2mGZFmQ)
March 25: International Day for the Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
March 26: 50th Anniversary of Populorum Progressio (written in 1967)
Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ in order to bear fruit in our lives, to eliminate unchristian behaviors.
— Pope Francis, 30 March 2014
It is in community that we come to see God in the other. It is in community that we see our own emptiness filled up. It is community that calls me beyond the pinched horizons of my own life, my own country, my own race, and gives me the gifts I do not have within me.
— Joan Chittister, OSB
In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus began his public life by reading a passage from Isaiah that introduced his ministry and the mission of every parish. The parish must proclaim the transcendent message of the gospel and help:
- Bring "good news to the poor" in a society where millions lack the necessities of life;
- Bring "liberty to captives" when so many are enslaved by poverty, addiction, ignorance, discrimination, violence, or disabling conditions;
- Bring "new sight to the blind" in a culture where the excessive pursuit of power or pleasure can spiritually blind us to the dignity and rights of others;
- And "set the downtrodden free" in communities where crime, racism, family disintegration, and economic and moral forces leave people without real hope (cf. Luke 4:18).
— U.S. Bishops, Communities of Salt and Light
The Sunday of the man born blind presents Christ as the light of the world. The Gospel confronts each one of us with the question: “Do you believe in the Son of man?” “Lord, I believe!” (John 9: 35. 38), the man born blind joyfully exclaims, giving voice to all believers. The miracle of this healing is a sign that Christ wants not only to give us sight, but also open our interior vision, so that our faith may become ever deeper and we may recognize him as our only Savior. He illuminates all that is dark in life and leads men and women to live as “children of the light”.
— Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent 2011
Let us ask ourselves about the state of our own heart. Do I have an open heart or a closed heart? It is opened or closed to God? Open or closed to my neighbor?
— Pope Francis, 30 March 2014
Thoughts for Your Consideration
As we reflect on the experience of the man born blind, we might reflect on the millions of people in our world who experience actual physical blindness. In light of Catholic Social Teaching, we might also look at the spiritual or cultural blindness that we all encounter in our world and the desire of Christ to heal us and our world.
22% of children in the United States live in families below the official poverty line, yet many of us don’t see them. 45% of the children in the United States live in low income families yet most of us are unaware. Billions of people throughout the world experience poverty, yet many people of the world don’t notice them. Millions of people in the United States have lived here for decades as productive members of our society, yet we are not aware of their lack of legal status. They are forced to “hide” in fear of deportation.
We live in a marvelous world and in a creation that is filled with goodness and gifts to be shared and respected. Yet, so many people miss the beauty and goodness. Corporations see resources to be exploited for profit. Nations see materials and lands to be controlled in a spirit of power and greed. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis challenges us to see things differently.
To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice: http://www.coc.org/EFJ-New.
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