Anointed, Bathed, Sent 4th Sunday of Lent

Jesus heals the man blind from birth

The readings for this 4th Sunday of Lent help carry us on the journey to Easter. The Baptismal theme of Lent is reinforced today with the story of the healing of the man blind from birth.

Much of this Gospel is spent establishing that the man was truly born blind so that his healing can be seen as the miracle it truly is, by those who want to see. Not everyone wants to see and believe the works of Jesus. A question for us to ponder…Do we want to see and believe the works of Jesus?

Jesus tells the disciples that this man’s blindness is to show God’s works through him. In that line we should hear that regardless of our infirmities, limitations, social standing and blindness that God’s works are accomplished within and through us.

As the story goes, Jesus makes mud and smears it on the man’s eyes and sends him to bath in the healing Pool of Siloam. 

Was the trip to Siloam necessary? Did Jesus have to add a Step 2 to the process of healing? 

Simply put, yes!

This Gospel is analogous to a faith journey- our faith journey. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “faith is a supernatural gift from God.” This gift, this invitation of God, is made to all human beings. But the gift must be accepted and acted upon for humankind to actualize the gift and develop a life of faith.

The man born blind was given a gift from God, his anointing with the mud, but for the gift to be realized, in this case, for the man to see, he had to accept what Jesus did and said and take a free will action of his own to allow the work of God to be seen through him. He had to go to Siloam as a sign of his faith being put into practice. Without his action, his healing would not have been complete.

Just like this blind man we too have been, or for our Baptism candidates will be, anointed, bathed and sent.  At Baptism we are anointed with Sacred Oil of Chrism. We are bathed by the Holy Spirit in the water of rebirth, and sent into the world to follow Jesus, to spread the Good News of the Gospel to all the earth, and to put our faith into action as we love God and love neighbor.

Baptism is the gateway into our life of faith. Walk through it…and keep walking… be sent in the name of the Lord.

@2020, Deacon Bill Fobes

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