Homily March 30, 2014 4th Sunday of Lent
Often times when we read the scriptures, we all ready have a familiarity and a certain preconceived idea about what we read. One example would be the story today of Samuel anointing David as the future king of Israel. Jesse had eight sons and to Samuel the choice seemed obvious as he observed the sons of Jesse, but God had his own way of choosing and actually chose the least obvious one. David, the youngest, was a man of heart and faith. His choice was one that stands out for the ages. From this man’s heritage would come the Messiah.
In the gospel, we see Jesus asked who was at fault for the man born blind being blind. Jesus debunked the common notion that sin of the man or his parents in some way caused the disability. Rather it occurred so the work of God could be visible in the world. To prove this Jesus goes on his own to cure the man’s blindness, even on the sabbath.
Today, we see many disabilities present in the world, and are in many ways confounded that with all our science we can not obliterate disabilities and sickness and all the other negative things in the world. We are quick to ask why God allows this or that, but forget that the choices of humans are sometimes responsible for the bad and even evil things in the world. Disabilities are still in our world and many are challenged by them as they can not picture such a thing happening to themselves or see it in some way as threatening what they see as normal.
Yet here we forget that God creates each person out of love and pours his love on that person. A person with a disability is not limited in the love they can give and receive and certainly are happy in their own self-awareness. Who are we after all to judge another for their limitations when like Samuel today was told that God doesn’t look at appearances but at the person’s heart. What is the measure of a successful life? What is it that we seek? What do we expect at the end? You know we can have eyes and still not see. Any parent knows they love each of their children for who they are, each as they are unique and loving. So it is with God. Each of us is born to be called and loved by God for who we are. Now is a good time during lent to look at ourselves and ask if we are in any way preventing the love of God from reaching us and through us to others. Is our heart open and receptive to all? Can we really embrace those whose abilities fall short of our expectations?
In a few weeks we will be celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the most important moment in history. To return from the dead and to be seen and heard and touched has sealed our faith and has been passed on to us through the centuries. As science has changed the world, so has the Christian faith grown and embraced many. We have been brought to God through Christ’s love and through him to each other to share that faith. His mission to go out to all the world, still remains an active charge even today.