Friday, March 04, 2005

The Blind Man 

Poussin: Christ Healing the Blind

The Second Scrutiny this year is from John 9:1, the healing of the man blind from birth. This blind man was someone to be proud of. When word got out that Jesus had healed a man blind from birth, and healed him on a sabbath, no less, the Pharisees went a little nuts. I don't mean to bring politics into this, but it does remind me of some Democrats being upset with the success of democracy in the Middle East, like ex-Clinton aide Nancy Soderberg who said of the great events taking place, (and I'm paraphrasing),
"There's still North Korea and Iran, there's hope [that Bush will still fail]. There's always hope that this [Democracy in the Middle East] will not work."
There are some who would say I'm comparing President Bush to Jesus by comparing the Pharisees to Democrats, but those are likely the same folks who seek failure in the policy of our nation for political gain, so, like Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains." Ms. Soderberg, like the Pharisees, notices the good news in Iraq and Lebannon and Syria and Afghanistan: she says she sees the early signs of success of the Bush policy, she isn't blind. She, and the Pharisees, just wishes it wasn't so.

When faced with His good works, the Pharisees called Jesus a sinner because he did the work of healing on the sabbath (What work? He spit in the dust). They called the blind man to them and repeatedly asked him how Jesus had healed him. They said he must be one of the disciples of Jesus, faking it. You have to love this guy because he says, "You're all so interested in Jesus, maybe it's you who want to be his disciples." They told the blind man to praise God, not Jesus. The blind man says, "Hey, I only know I was blind and now I see. If Jesus wasn't from God, he couldn't have healed me now could he." So the Pharisees, faced with such obvious logic, throw the guy out on his ear.

I realize this, the politics, is totally off-focus for what the 2nd Scrutiny is all about. A man, living in darkness, is given a whole new life of light. That's a wonderful message for a new Catholic. I also think it's a wonderful lesson that when the ex-blind man's church threw him out for telling the truth, Jesus then went in search of him and found him. I also feel, at times, that my old church would rather I was gone -- it's a wonderful thing to be sought out by Jesus himself and led to a new home of faith.

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