From the Pastor’s Desk

My Dear Parishioners,

Our readings today strengthen us to persevere in our Lenten journey and nourish us with encouragement to deepen our faith as we come to know Jesus more fully. A question for all of us is the one spoken by the Pharisees in today’s Gospel: “What do you have to say about Him?”

The main reason we read this Gospel on the fourth Sunday of Lent is because the faith journey of the man who was given sight is a model for every catechumen. Those coming to faith are especially featured in the Church’s prayer during these 40 days. From blindness to sight symbolizes the gift of faith-seeing what we can never perceive on our own. The step-by-step deepening of the man’s perception of Jesus could well be the phases of one coming to faith.

At first the man knows only a man named Jesus, who smears mud on his sightless eyes and tells him to go wash. As the man re-tells his story to the authorities, he states boldly, “He is a prophet.” As the Pharisees become more pointed in their attacks against Jesus, the man grows in assurance and clarity: “If Jesus were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” Finally, when Jesus seeks him out again and asks if he believes in the Son of Man, he falls down in adoration and confesses his faith in Jesus.

This is every believer’s journey of faith, whether baptized as infants or catechumens, as we clearly make our own personal decisions to follow Christ. In the waters of baptism we believe we are washed of our sins and enter into the life of Christ, the one sent by God. To those preparing for Baptism, this is a model for coming to faith. For all those who have been baptized, it also tells of our story. The man said: “I went to the pool and washed, and now I can see!” We have been washed by baptism and our eyes have been opened by faith. So, what do we see? Our life is centered on Jesus; yet, there are many things not so clear: Who is my neighbor? How do I grow truly rich? How do I balance prayer and work? Who is God the Father in my life? How faithful am I as a disciple of Christ? It is a lifelong effort to put on the mind of Jesus. We believe that Jesus is the one who leads us through darkness, but we are still on this side of resurrection. Jesus suffered temptation and trial in his life journey. He promises us the same; as well as the assurance that he is with us on the dark road of our suffering and self-doubt.

The coming to faith of the man born blind is the model for our journey to Christ as we are called to live out our faith each day. Sunday after Sunday we can build on this initial faith. We have a long way to go, yet our initial faith in Jesus, the Son of Man, as the center of our seeing is foundational. The question “What do you have to say about Him?” is still addressed to us today.

All God’s Blessings,
Msgr. Maresca