A series of Lenten (and Easter) Reflections based on the signs in the Gospel of John by Fr Francis Lim, SJ, every Thursday (except Tuesdays during Holy Week and Easter Week).
The Gospel of John is also known as the Book of Signs. John portrays these signs as works of wonder by Jesus in order for believers to deepen their faith in Jesus. Through these reflections, Fr Francis hopes to bring our parishioners to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus.
Reflections on Healing of the Man Born Blind
Jesus heals the man born blind in John 9 (6 April)
What are the things that prevent me from seeing Jesus? What do I need to do to overcome my narrow-mindedness and blindness to other people?
What do I see in Jesus?
I see Jesus as my dear friend who walks and journeys with me. In Him I find love, peace and joy. I can depend on Him even when things are not going the way I expect them to. He will be there for me. I have to learn to surrender to Him which is easier said than done. But I am trying as the days go by with His grace and mercy.
What do I need to be cleared of blindness or narrow-mindedness in my life?
Learning to detach oneself from possessions in terms of material and relationships (being able to agree to disagree). Nothing in this life will last but to look forward to life everlasting with the Lord.
I perceive Christ Jesus as my Light and Redeemer. Spiritual blindness or narrow-mindedness has kept me away from Him, not in the center of my life, re-course and deviation that led me into dim light. Learning to radiate and gain love in Him three years ago has spiritually cleansed me without thinking twice where I might step into. Since my lil angel left us, she had convinced me her next destination was to meet Him personally. Picking up from where she left us, I was able to let her go as His love radiates gently in me and my family. There goes my fear, attachment or addiction to human superficial success, and mostly we able to lead a simple life. It’s hard yet knowing Jesus’ profound love makes me wanting to know more.
What do I see in Jesus? Jesus in my perception is a perfect being in which we mortals must emulate in as many ways as possible but deep down in our heart, we do know that the outcome – despite being desired – is quite humanly challenging. He is an icon of humility – I am touched by the part that he, as the Son of God, a divine being who could have lived a heavenly life with his privileged birthright, but he has chosen to live a humble ordinary folk like the rest of us and live among us, to journey through the ups and downs in life alongside with us. Such hands on experience, I believe, has made Jesus very much a human, who has deep empathy for us, his fellow humans. For me, the most amazing part is Jesus’ passion. Every time I picture his sacrifice, the strong sense of self-pity in me due to obstacles has somehow subsided. His selflessness has been an inspiration to me during times of difficulty.
What do I need to be cleared of blindness or narrow-mindedness in my life? The strong sense of self-pity – sometimes that negativity creeps into my thoughts unconsciously during moments of setback. It just spurs uncontrollable sorrow, so deep that I basically drown in misery and intense rage that draws the Hyde out from me, seething with bitterness. The feelings are horrible. I lose my cool. My conscience is clouded and my rationality is blurred. In addition, I also struggle to embrace the idea of forgiveness. Being haunted by the ghost of my past, I simply cannot let go completely, even with God’s grace. Furthermore, I am overwhelmed by a strong dose of inferiority that kind of holds me back in many ways.
What do I see in Jesus? There are too many words to say about what I see in Jesus. He is the awesome God, the Good Shepherd. Maybe in this story, I would relate Him more as the great Healer, who can help me see from my blindness due to this world.
What do I need to be cleared of blindness or narrow-mindedness in my life? I think both exist in my life. There is fear. There is attachment. There is system belief. All three need to be cleared out of my life. They come to me in many forms and ways from the evil ones in this world. All these blindness and narrow-mindedness are obstacles to my repentance, and my closeness to God. They become the barrier to be opened to God’s grace, mercy and blessings.
To come out of my fear, I leave myself in God’s discretion to follow His lead, and thus a full trust in Him. To come out of attachment, I surround myself more with songs of worship and Bible verses, instead of too much of this world and its products. To come out of system belief, I try to join bible classes, various groups of church friends and not always keeping to the old gangs, and become stuck up; therefore sharing the word of God I learned with new groups.
1. What do I see in Jesus?
I see love and peace in Jesus. He is so merciful, full of forgiveness and never give up on me.
2. What do I need to be cleared of blindness or narrow-mindedness in my life?
I need to be cleared of blindness in my life. Be more concern toward others, not to be self fish, love and forgive one another
What do I see in Jesus? Jesus is the light of the world. He wants to restore my spiritual blindness so I could walk in the light instead of staying in the dark. He wants to free me from living in the prison of darkness and to show me the way if I open myself to his instruction.
What do I need to be cleared of blindness or narrow-mindedness in my life? I must confess and admit my spiritual blindness and tell God that I need help. I need to listen to him with attentiveness and discern which direction I should take in order to rid the blindness of my life: the blindness of not putting my total trust in him and worrying too much, my obsession and attachment to worldly things and not focusing on Jesus, my blindness of pride that block God’s grace in my life, my blindness to see others in a less judgmental way and think that I am better than others, my blindness to selfishness and self-centredness, my blindness to indifferent attitude to others in need. I humbly ask God to heal me of these “blindness’ in my life.
JESUS is my Healer in whom I can wholly entrust the burdens and desires of my heart. He renews my hope in Him by delivering me in times of despair and troubles even in the darkest moments of my life. With trust in JESUS, He fills me with His Peace, Joy and Happiness.
To be free of spiritual blindness, I always lean on the Lord for guidance, protection, comfort and assurance derived through prayer because JESUS promises: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” for which I am thankful.
[1/8] Reflections on the Wedding of Cana
[2/8] Reflections on the Healing of the Royal Official’s Son
[3/8] Reflections on the Healing by the Pool of Bethesda
[4/8] Reflections on the Feeding of the Five Thousand
[5/8] Reflections on Jesus Walking on Water