1 Sam 16:1, 6-7, 10-13;
Like Samuel in the first reading, many of us find ourselves grounded in the past, even though events in life require us to change our plans and move forward. God assigns Samuel a fresh task of anointing a new King to replace Saul and sends him to the House of Jesse. Yahweh rejects all the sons that Jesse proudly presents to Samuel. At last Jesse is forced to send for his youngest son, David, who is in the field tending sheep. Yahweh directs Samuel to anoint David as the King. Yahweh does not go by outward appearances but looks at the heart. Through David’s line will Jesus be born centuries later. In David God establishes the image of a Shepherd King and Jesus will also introduce himself as the Good Shepherd.
In the second reading St. Paul is clearly distinguishing between two life styles by using two metaphors: works of light and works of darkness. In other words, after a spiritual renewal from within, he urges us to put off the old self and put on the new, if there has to be a distinctive change. Once in the light, we cannot revert to our old self. In this way, our Christian lives will bring light to others so that they too can share in the sacrificial redemption of Christ.
Today’s Gospel reading on the healing of the blind man, brings before us four points namely: a person encounters Jesus; the person accepts Jesus, the person witnesses about Jesus and people’s reaction to the person’s witness.
This healing stands out as an instance of light coming into this world. While the man born blind accepts Jesus, and becomes his disciple, the Pharisees refuse to believe and reject Jesus. If we wilfully close ourselves to Jesus the light, we will continue in our spiritual darkness. But if we open ourselves to this light, we will be steadily led to spiritual maturity.
When asked whether the man’s blindness was because of his parent’s sins? Jesus replies that sin is not the cause of all suffering. Jesus had not committed any sin, yet he suffers. Suffering is a fact in human life and for us Christians it is seen as an opportunity for God to work out His plan in our lives.
The blind man is trapped by the questions and disbelief of people around to his testimony of healing, but Jesus lifts him out of his prison of blindness and sets him free. Thus this man, after receiving physical sight, steadily grows in spiritual sight to become Jesus’ disciple.
Sometimes we find ourselves stuck where we are, in one way or the other for whatever reason. Jesus is always available to us. So let us take one step towards him and find him rushing to pick us up in his arms. Our prayer could be: Jesus, I trust you are with me.