Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A, 26th March 2017

“I was blind and now I can see!”

God’s loving vision is a light that guides us out of darkness and heals our spiritual blindness. God sees the potential in us through his loving gaze. His judgements are based on compassion and love, and not on our human standards.

In the first reading Samuel is surprised that God chooses the simple shepherd boy David to be the King of Israel, when his brothers all seemed so much more suitable. In time, David’s descendant Jesus will become the true Good Shepherd: the Servant King who opens the eyes of the blind.

Psalm 22 (23) is the “Good Shepherd” Psalm. Its words of comfort describe how God tenderly cares for his people, giving them rest, guiding them through darkness, and richly anointing them with love.

St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians calls us to wake from our sleep so that we can see ourselves as God sees us. We are children of light! Darkness no longer has a hold over our lives, and as children of light we are called to share fully in the life of the Risen Christ.

Today’s Gospel describes the healing of a man from lifelong blindness. It shows how his eyes are opened not just physically but spiritually too, so that he can see who he truly is. He is now able to recognise Christ and declare his belief in Him. Just as Samuel was surprised at God’s choice of a king for his people, the Pharisees cannot believe that Jesus chooses a “sinner” to be healed. Their judgements make them blind.