We are in the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Traditionally this Sunday is known as “Laetare Sunday,” from the Latin word for “Rejoice!” It sets a tone of joyful anticipation of the Easter mystery. The theme of the reading is sight.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. In the middle of the night Holmes awoke and exclaimed, “Watson, look up; tell me what you see?” Watson opened his eyes and said, “I see billions of stars. It’s likely that some of these have planetary systems. Furthermore, it’s possible that life has developed in a few.” “Is that what you see?” Holmes replied, “No, you idiot. Somebody stole our tent!”
Most of us have good eye sight. Some of us have to wear glasses to have good vision. Today’s readings remind us that it is God who gives us proper vision in the physical as well as in spiritual sense and instructs us to be vigilant and not to fall into spiritual blindness. The fourth Sunday of Lent connects with the Candidate who are preparing to receive the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil.
In today’s First Reading the prophet Samuel has been sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king of Israel. When Samuel was sent out, in his mind was the figure of Saul, the present king. Samuel thought Jesse’s son Eliab would be a good replacement, because he was tall and handsome, much like Saul. The Lord said to him, “Not as man sees does God see.” Jesse presented seven of his sons, but not David. Even Jesse didn’t think God would chose David. When David came the LORD said to Samuel, "There—anoint him, for this is the one!" Samuel tried to make decision based on appearance, in another word, based on his sight. God direct him to see beyond physical sight.
In today’s Second Reading, Paul reminds us that the Lord has brought us from darkness to light. Sin not only disfigures us, but it also blinds us. So Paul encourages us to live as children of light, which gives us true sight.
The Gospel story tells us how a blind man received sight. The man, who was born blind, not only received the gift of sight, but he also received an opportunity to see that Jesus was the one who healed him. The man who received sight could not deny what was right in front of his face. He gave witness for the gift he received and what he experienced. The Pharisees were kept asking how Jesus opened his eyes. They couldn’t praise God or recognize Jesus for what he did, but the blind man was able to do so. He received sight and insight. Others could see, but they couldn’t recognize.
Our Lenten prayers and sacrifices should help us receive true sight so that we can see the great things God has done in our lives and in the lives of the people around us.