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Vision restored, Power and Glory revealed - Lent 2017


The Blind man at the pool of Siloam had heard about Jesus, but never personally heard him. Yet in his mind’s eye, he already had an image of him. So when one evening he heard the unfamiliar sounds of a cluster of footsteps he wondered what that could mean. The footsteps became slower and ground to a halt Jesus and his disciples were right in front of him and he was the topic of their conversation. He had not even made a request to be healed. Instead, the first thing he heard was a discussion about his supposedly “sinful” condition. Jesus would have none of it. The first words he heard Jesus speak intrigued him. “He had been born blind so that God’s power might be displayed in curing him” (John 9:3) The prospect of his seeing Jesus for the first time became a distinct reality.  “Jesus meanwhile spat on the ground, made a mud paste with the spittle and spread it on the man’s eyes. Commanded by Jesus to wash them in the pool he went off, washed and came back, able to see.” (John 9:8) and with it, the eye of his heart was opened too. and it showed. “Is this the same man?” they asked.

 

We have two sets of eyes. The eye of the mind and the eye of the heart. They are often at variance with one another so that we often end up seeing “what we want to see” unable to perceive what is before us as it is in itself. We may look and yet not perceive, hear and not understand. The former often seeks to analyse and explain, to trace the “origins” of a problem. In searching for ways to be like gods it is obsessed with perfection and by default our failure to achieve it. Self-analysis is often a pre-occupation with sinfulness. The eye of the heart on the other hand does not analyse, nor seek for “origins” It is concerned, rather, with faithfulness It responds to the Word in obedience and knows with an inner certainty that the LORD is faithful, even if we are unfaithful simply because it sees the image and likeness of God within us waiting to emerge if only we begin to see with it We live in our heads, most of the time. Identifying BEING with Thinking, we often construct an unreal world projecting it on to our true self and others. The result is that we are unable to see ourselves and others as we and they truly are. “The LORD God formed a human being from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of LIFE.” (Genesis 2:7) It has been humorously said that God gave us two ears, one nose and two eyes, so that we might be able to wear spectacles. Hearing the Word and Breathing in the Spirit demands that we abandon the eye of the mind and begin to see with the eye of the heart instead Jesus asks us to wash off the mud paste from our eyes and in so doing affirm that we are Spiritual Beings who happen to be “earthly” not the other way round. Jesus invites us to behold others and ourselves in the image and likeness of God. He had said that the man had been born blind “so that God’s power might be displayed in curing him” (Jn 9:3)  “The glory of God is a person fully alive; the life of a person is the vision of God.” (St. Iranaeus) Seeing with the eye of the heart is transformative. This is the glory we are called to behold within us Getting to know ourselves as we truly are, is God’s work Self-discovery is the miracle that takes place when we are healed of our blindness. 

  

Christopher Mendonca



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