Our eyesight is important to us. Human beings tend to physically navigate through life mostly by sight and less by hearing and smell. However, eyesight is useless without light. Throughout the bible light is used as a metaphor for God’s revelation. Psalm 119 is a good example telling us that the law of God is a lamp to light our path. We get this metaphor from St Paul in Ephesians 5:8 – 14 (second reading for the fourth Sunday of Lent), “Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.”
St John illustrates this idea in his gospel when he records Christ restoring sight to a blind man (John 9:1 – 41). This is a somewhat complex narrative. Christ restores the mans sight and goes away. Christ did this on the sabbath which irritated some of the Pharisees, but not all of them. There was division among them. A key feature of this narrative is that the man doesn’t know who Jesus is. He is certainly impressed and states that he might be a prophet, but, at first, doesn’t recognize Him as Christ. He has vision but not the light. There is division among the Pharisees because they have vision but don’t see the light, “Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:41). The man that Christ had healed returns to Christ and comes to understand who He is (John 9:35 – 38).
This is a useful metaphor for our Catholic faith. Christ came into the world to heal us. He remains with us and restores our spiritual sight with the sacraments. Baptism joins us to Christ. Confirmation strengthens our bond with the Holy Spirit. At Mass we encounter Christ in the Eucharist. In Confession we receive forgiveness and reconciliation from God. We need to intentionally use this gift of vision. Jesus complains, “they look but they do not see.” (Matthew 13:13).
We have spiritual sight by the healing of God, but we need to look for the light. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure.” (CCC 89). We find the light my practicing our faith, going to Mass, at least on Sunday, going to confession on a regular basis. Praying every day is an important part of our spiritual life and making spiritual reading a part of our prayer. There are scripture readings for the Mass of each day of the week. Everyone can’t go to daily Mass, but you can get the readings on the internet (www.usccb.org). Even when you are going to Mass the next day reading these passages the day before is a great way to get more from them. God has given us a great gift, but gifts don’t mean much if we don’t open and use them.