In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Jesus cures the man born blind. “When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he.’ He said, ‘I do believe, Lord,’ and he worshiped him (John 9: 35-38). The man born blind gradually comes to see Jesus as the Son of Man. He first identifies the one who cured him as “Jesus” and then “Prophet”. Finally the man born blind sees Jesus for who he really is, “Lord”. Jesus cured him from both physical and spiritual blindness. My spiritual eyesight is still blurry. I now see the face of the Jesus more clearly in faces of my spouse, sons, family and friends. I am not able to see as clearly the face of Jesus in those who have hurt me, disagreed with me, and have harmed others. How do you witness to your belief in the presence of Christ in others? How do others see the face of Christ in you?
In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus meets the Samaritan Women at the Well. Jesus asks her for a drink of water. She initially resists. Jews had little in common with Samaritans. Then Jesus offers her living water. Since he has no cup, she asks how. “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ ” (John 4: 13-14). By virtue of Baptism, the living water of the Holy Spirit bubbles in each Christian. The life giving water of the Spirit animates us as Christ for others. Alive in Christ, we bring the love of Christ to life in our daily encounters. Christ lives in us when we satisfy those thirsty for companionship, healing, mercy, forgiveness, justice, and more. How do you satisfy those in your life who thirst for the love of God?
In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent, Peter, James and John witness the Transfiguration of Jesus. “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”When the disciples heard this they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. The reassuring touch of Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’ And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone” (Matthew 17: 5-8). The reassuring touch of Jesus encourages them to follow him after they get down from the mountain no matter what. Recently I spent a week end helping my oldest son at his apartment. He later thanked me for making his life easier. I was overwhelmed by his expression of gratitude. I had been wondering why I bother helping my kids who do not seem to appreciate me. In this transfiguration moment, I deeply felt his love for me and mine for him. I am more resolved to love him whether he thanks me or not. How has your experience of the love of Jesus encouraged you to love yourself and others more.
In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent, Jesus is tempted in the desert. “At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry” (Matthew 4: 2b). The devil tempted Jesus when he was most vulnerable, hungry and thirsty after days of fasting. The devil wanted Jesus to use his power to satisfy his hunger. Jesus refused. He knew only trust in God satisfies human hungers. Only through trust in God would he accomplish his mission. Whether the hunger is for food, shelter, comfort, companionship, or justice, God will satisfy. How has God satisfied your hunger? How can you help God satisfy the hungers of others?