Jesus said, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” – John 9:3
Sunday’s gospel reading tells the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed by smoothing clay over his dead eyes. People were astounded, and many questioned the veracity of what happened. Some claimed that this man who could now see only “looked like” the blind beggar. The man’s parents were even brought forward to verify that he was indeed their son and that he had been born blind.
Thinking the man’s blindness served as a punishment for some sin, Christ’s disciples asked Him if it was the blind man himself or his parents who had sinned. Christ responded that none of them sinned—that he was born blind “so that the works of God might be made visible through him.”
It was God’s plan to reveal His love and mercy through healing this man’s blindness.
Many times in life, we too are blind. We may not be physically blind, but we must understand that blindness comes in many forms. Sometimes we are blind to the wonders of God. Sometimes we are blind to the truths He teaches. We may even be blind to the necessity to build a culture of life, blind to the miracle that is a preborn baby, or blind to the needs of the vulnerable.
Today especially, with the fear that has gripped so many of us, it’s easier to be blind to others’ needs when we’re worried about our own.
But now is the time when we desperately need that clay. We need Christ to remove the darkness that overwhelms our lives and prevents us from truly seeing—and shining—His glory. When we allow Christ to apply that clay to our eyes so that His works “might be made visible” through us, we realize how we can touch lives. You see, removing our blindness serves as a twofold healing. We learn to see in a new way: We see the face of Christ in others. We care for the vulnerable. We help people in need. We strengthen our prayer life. And then our actions ignite others, and we become the clay for their eyes. God works through us so that others will see His glory. That’s how we build a culture of life.
This gospel story is about more than just restoring vision. It’s about restoring our ability to live as Christ wants us to live so that we can enjoy eternal life with Him.
As we read the news and feel increased anxiety about the coronavirus that has crippled our country and our way of life, we might feel tempted to retreat into our own worlds. However, we absolutely cannot do that, because the culture of death doesn’t miss a step. Though most of the world has shut down, abortion clinics remain open, as people believe that killing babies is essential healthcare. Thinking only of themselves, people behave selfishly and hoard various grocery items. And there are still many who don’t understand this global crisis and go on with life as usual, unwilling to believe that their actions put others at great risk. These people are blind, and God calls us to be the clay that helps restore their vision.
Though you remain isolated in your house, do not isolate yourself from Christ or from loving and caring for those in need. Think about what you can do now and after this crisis lifts. How will you allow God to work through you so that His works are visible to others in your life?