The Gospel of John, chapter 9:25 reads, "One thing I do know: I was blind and now I see."
In Ghana, in the continent of Africa, many members of a local tribe suffered from blindness.
The cause of the blindness, it was discovered, was a mosquito that lived along the river banks and injected a parasite into the bloodstream of local fishermen.
To eliminate the blindness, it was necessary to find a drug that would kill the parasite that was injected into the bloodstream of the fishermen. A drug, known as Ivermectin, that kills the offspring of the parasites was developed and applied to the affected fishermen.
The blindness disappeared.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is the remedy who eliminates another kind of blindness; namely spiritual blindness. In fact, he states in in the Gospel of St. John, chapter nine, that he "came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind."
The man who was born blind in St. John’s gospel account was cured of his physical blindness, and he professed his faith in Jesus, "I do believe Lord."
This twice, fortunate man who received both the gift of sight and the gift of faith is an example to all of those who were "once darkness, but now are light in the Lord," Ephesians 5:8.
The Pharisees were a mean-spirited lot who opposed Jesus’ act of curing the blind man because He cured him on the Sabbath. They did not realize that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
They protested when Jesus exposed their hypocrisy, "surely we are not also blind, are we?"
Jesus let them know that, although they could see physically, they were indeed blind.
He described them as "blind leaders, leading the blind," Matthew 15:14.
We need to ask ourselves, in light of today’s Gospel, what is the fly in the ointment of our lives that blinds us to the good news of the Gospel? Is it pride? is it lust? is it mean-spiritedness? is it hypocrisy? Is it idle or irresponsible gossip? What is it?
The height of human blindness is to glory in being blind; to reject the truth when you are staring right at it.
Many people today do not want to see. They have eyes, but they see not. They prefer to tailor the truth to serve their own selfish purposes. Look at what is going on in the world of politics today!
What can anyone make of the fake news, alternate facts, intelligence surveillance, and partisan bickering that is flooding the media these days? What has become of simple honesty where a "Yes" means yes, and a "No" means no?
The blind Pharisees in today’s gospel manipulated the law of the Sabbath to undermine and reject an act of incredible goodness. They were blinded by their own self-righteousness. Strive to make sure you do not fall into the same trap.
To see, spiritually, is to be open to the good news of the gospel and to put it into practice, without being blinded by any form of human selfishness.
Fr. Hugh Duffy holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hull, England. Born in Donegal, Ireland, he was ordained in 1966 in Dublin, Ireland. He is pastor emeritus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Okeechobee, Florida, where he served for 30 years and built a new Church, debt-free, in 2013. He founded Christian Community Action (CCA) in Ireland that built housing for seniors, a sheltered workshop and bakery for people with disabilities, a community center, and an addiction treatment center. Since 2013 he has traveled across America as an Outreach Priest for Cross Catholic Outreach, Inc. Duffy’s recent book, “What is This Thing Called Faith?” is a collection of meditations with reflections for readers on the sayings of Jesus. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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