Jesus’ giving of sight to the blind man in today’s gospel teaches us of the necessity of opening the eyes of the mind by faith and warns us that those who assume they see the truth are often blind, while those who acknowledge their blindness are given clear vision. In this gospel episode, the most unlikely person, the beggar born blind, receives the light of faith while the religion-oriented, law-educated Pharisees remain spiritually blind. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” To live as Christian is to see, to have clear vision about God, about ourselves and about others. We are to live as children of the light, seeking what is good and right and true. Our Lenten prayers and sacrifices should serve to heal our blindness so we can look at others, see them as children of God and love them as our own brothers and sisters saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Today’s liturgy makes use of the symbol of water to refer to our relationship with God. Water represents God’s Spirit who comes to us in Baptism, which is the actual, symbolic sign of a deep reality, the coming of God as a force penetrating every aspect of a person’s life. The Spirit quenches our spiritual thirst. Just as water in the desert was life-giving for the wandering Israelites, the water of a true, loving relationship with Jesus is life-giving for those who accept Him as Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit of God, the Word of God and the sacraments of God in the Church are the primary sources of the living water of the Divine Grace. Washed in it at Baptism, renewed by its abundance at each Eucharist, invited to it in every proclamation of the Word, and daily empowered by the Spirit, we are challenged by today’s gospel to remain thirsty for the living water which only God can give.
The momentary glorious vision of Jesus at the Transfiguration was given in order to strengthen the three principal apostles to face the trials to their faith, which the sufferings and crucifixion of their beloved Master would bring on them. For the very same reason, it is retold to us today to encourage us to persevere especially in the face of difficulties. If we are sharers with Christ in His sufferings, we shall be sharers with Him in His glory. We do not and we cannot go to heaven in a limousine. Illnesses, troubles and disappointments are the lot of all men. They respect neither wealth, nor power nor position. One who knows his purpose in life and is striving to reach the goal that God’s goodness has planned for him, can and will see in these trials of life the hand of a loving Father who is preparing him for greater things. His sufferings become more understandable and bearable because of his attitude to life and its meaning. Christ asks us to follow Him, carrying our daily cross, and the end of our journey is not Calvary but resurrection, the entrance to a life of glory with our risen Savior.