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Reflection on the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 10, 2024, by Eileen Custy SL

There are some lessons to be learned from the man blind from birth. His healing allows us to look at both the physical aspects of light in relation to sight, and spiritual insight as enlightenment, another form of vision that enables us to see life on a different level. 

The blind man is just sitting there, apparently not aware of what was happening around him, when he suddenly becomes the center of attention. Jesus notices him and the disciples, caught up in the current belief of their time, ask: “Why is this man blind? Is it his parent’s fault? Was he born a sinner?” After assuring them that it is no one’s fault, Jesus chooses to use this situation to make God’s power manifest by giving the man his sight, allowing in the light that he might see.

As usual, the Pharisees have to challengeJesus. There is the usual complaint about healing on the Sabbath day. But they, too, are blind to what they have seen with their own eyes and go all around — to the blind man, his parents, and other witnesses — trying to prove that the man wasn’t blind in the first place. When the blind man grows tired of their harassing and stands up to them, they expel him from the synagogue.

Later, Jesus seeks him out and reveals himself as the Son of Man. The blind man believes and is enabled to see on another level, to be enlightened about God and Jesus, professing a newly found faith through the healing action of Jesus. He now sees God in a new way and chooses to live his life differently.

We cannot see without light, right? The author of Genesis knew that and when calculating the sequence of creation events, started with the creation of light: “And God said, ‘let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that it was good, and separated the light from the darkness.”

It is interesting to note that the earliest use of a word for God is found in Sanskrit and means light or brilliance.

Light enabled those early humans to see and figure out creation according to what they saw. Their view was very limited. The earth was obviously flat so there must be an edge off of which one could fall. There must be pillars to hold it all up. They could see stars, far too many to count but knew very little about them. And God, who made it all was visualized like a potter creating with clay, who probably had a studio out there somewhere among the stars.

Turn the page 4,000 years forward and a new Genesis story might read: “Let there be a big explosion in the darkness, releasing brilliant light and God’s energy out into the darkness and so it happened, and God saw that it was good.” We humans, having evolved into a higher intelligence, have taken the gifts of light and energy and used them to peer deep into our own bodies, into the depths of matter, the core of the earth, and into the far reaches of space to see the make-up of matter, stars, planets and galaxies. We have discovered that nothing is what it seems to the naked eye. Instead everything in creation is made up of tiny particles that work together. It is a universe made up entirely of infinitesimal pieces. 

This is a very different view of creation and of God, a God who is energizing all of nature, all of those minute particles, a God within, not out there. We have learned that all of creation is in relationship from the tiniest cells to the whole of the universe suffused with God’s energy, what some have called love-energy that has set all of this in motion, allowing it to evolve freely, at the same time, gently luring it upward and outward. 

Ilia Delio, in her book, “The Not Yet God,” writes, “Creation exists because God exists and God exists because creation exists; God and creation mutually co-inhere.”

The light, love and energy that spilled out into the universe with the big bang is still moving outward and upward. John called Jesus the light of the world. Through his humanity Jesus was able to show us a new way of looking at God. Now, thanks to our ability to shine the light deep down into matter and far out into space, we are seeing still another view of our God, entangled with all of creation. We are being enlightened once again, this time through human intellects exploring the scientific aspects of creation.  What we have learned about the intricacies of our universe are mind-blowing. We ask ourselves: Can our God really be this close?

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”   John 8:12


Eileen Custy SL

Eileen Custy was born and raised on a dairy outside of Denver and attended a one-room schoolhouse for her first eight years. After a year of college at Loretto Heights, she joined the Sisters of Loretto. In spite of the fact that she thought at that time she never wanted to be a teacher, she loved the work and taught for 46 years. Most of those years were spent in El Paso, Texas. Eileen “retired” in 2004 and moved to Kentucky, where she served as an administrative assistant to the Motherhouse Coordinator for nearly 20 years before retiring in November 2023. Eileen continues to serve the Motherhouse Community, particularly pastorally.