Born blind

"Rabbi, who sinned, he or his parents, so that he was born blind?". Jesus replied: "Neither he nor his parents sinned, but this is so that the works of God might be manifested in him".

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Gospel - John [9: 1-41]

As he passed He saw a man blind from birth and his disciples asked him: "Rabbi, who has sinned, he or his parents, why was he born blind?". Jesus replied, "Neither he nor his parents sinned, but this is so that the works of God might be manifested in him. We must do the works of Him who sent me while it is day; then the night comes, when no one can work anymore. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world". Having said this he spat on the ground, made mud with saliva, smeared the mud on the blind man's eyes and said to him: "Go wash yourself in the pool of Silo (which means Sent)".

He went, washed and came back seeing. Then the neighbors and those who had seen him before, since he was a beggar, said, "Isn't this the one who sat begging?" Some said: "It's him"; others said, "No, but he looks like him". And he said: "It's me!". Then they asked him, "How then were your eyes opened?" He replied: "That man called Jesus made mud, he smeared my eyes and said to me: Go to Siloe and wash! I went and, after having washed myself, I gained sight". They said to him: "Where is this fellow?". He replied, "I don't know".

In the meantime, they took the one who had been blind to the Pharisees: it was Saturday, in fact, the day on which Jesus had made mud and opened his eyes. So the Pharisees also asked him again how he had acquired sight. And he said to them, "He put mud over My eyes, I washed and I see". Then some of the Pharisees said: "This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath". Others said: "How can a sinner perform such wonders?". And there was dissension between them. Then they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about Him, since He has opened your eyes?".

He replied: "He is a prophet!". But the Jews did not want to believe that he had been blind and had acquired sight, until they called the parents of the one who had recovered sight. And they asked them: "Is this your son who you say was born blind? How is it that he sees us now?" The parents replied: "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind; how then he sees us now, we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes; ask him, he is old, he will talk about himself". This was what his parents said, because they were afraid of the Jews; in fact the Jews had already established that, if one recognized Him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. That is why his parents said: "He is old, ask him!".

Then they called again the man who had been blind and said, "Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner." He replied: "Whether he is a sinner, I don't know; one thing I know: before I was blind and now I see". Then they said to him again, "What did he do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them: "I have already told you and you did not listen to me; why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?". Then they insulted him and said to him: "You are his disciple, we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses; but we do not know where he comes from".

The man answered them: "This is precisely strange, that you do not know where He comes from, yet He opened my eyes. Now, we know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is God-fearing and does His will, he listens to him. Since the world began, it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If he were not of God, he could not have done anything". They replied: "You were all born in sins and do you want to teach us?". And they threw him out.

Jesus knew that they had thrown him out, and meeting him he said to him: "Do you believe in the Son of man?". He replied, "And who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?". Jesus said to him: "You have seen it: He who talks to you is really Him". And he said, "I believe, Lord!" And he bowed down before him. Jesus then said: "I have come into this world to judge, so that those who do not see may see and those who see may become blind". Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words and said to him, "Are we blind too?" Jesus answered them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say: We see, your sin remains".

Exegesis - John [9,1-41]

This passage tells that Jesus, passing by, saw a man blind from birth, and directly takes the initiative to heal him to manifest the work of God. The blind man becomes a means of revelation, because he reveals the reality of Jesus, of the true God.

Throughout the narrative the blind man is never called by name: he can represent each of us, all those who are obedient to the word of Jesus. Jesus tells him to go and wash himself in the swimming pool of Silo, he goes, and does what said: so he heals, so now he sees.

People are curious, because before they saw him begging knowing he was blind, now he sees him healed, a new person. The man tells the facts, testifies that it was Jesus who healed him, but when asked where he is, he replies that he does not know. Even Christians, at times, hearing about Jesus, or perhaps when the Lord touches them with his mercy, do not know where Jesus is, where he is. We need to be healed, especially in heart and soul.

Even the Pharisees question Him, but their speech is prejudicial, the sentence is already inherent in it; in fact they say: "This man does not come from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath". Others disagree with this statement: "How can a sinner perform such wonders?"; but for the Pharisees there is no story: that man is a sinner because he had dared to heal a man on the Sabbath.

The healed blind man is questioned and testifies to the truth by saying, regarding Jesus, that he does not know who he is, perhaps a prophet, but one thing is certain: he was blind and now he sees. The encounter with this man changed his life and the consequence of this dispute with the scribes and Pharisees cost him his expulsion from the synagogue.

Out along the road, the second encounter with Jesus takes place, the one that sanctions the healing of the soul. Jesus asks: "Do you believe in the Son of man?" and he said, "And who is he, Lord, that I may believe in him?". Jesus adds: "You have seen it: He who speaks to you is really Him". Here is the essential point, the blind man healed without any hesitation replies: "I believe Lord".

The Pharisees resentful of the situation ask Jesus if they are also blind, but Jesus replies that if they were blind, they would not have any sin; since instead they claim to see us, their sin is declared and remains. As if to say: "I see, if I see I don't need the light because I see it, I don't need any other light than the one I already have"; therefore they do not recognize that the true light, light of the world is Jesus. Jesus Himself had said: "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life".
(Jn 9,5).

We too, if we believe through faith, can become children of light, and if it is true that a single light in the night is little, many flames - ours - allow us to see better, to be together and to continue the journey without no stumbling.
We beg that Jesus enlighten us, so as not to lose His light and to be able to be light for others as well.