Thursday, March 23, 2017

Catholic Reflections 597 : Homily Fourth Sunday of Lent. A - Sunday, March 26, 2017

Homily Fourth Sunday of Lent. A - Sunday, March 26, 2017

First Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1. 6-7. 10-13
Psalm: Ps 22. “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14

Gospel: John 9:1-41
Please listen to my audio “blog” of the readings, prayers and reflections for the
Fourth Sunday of Lent. A - Sunday, March 26, 2017 by clicking this link here:

People throughout the world unite in prayer and compassion at the sad news of the terrorist attack in London. We pray for the victims and everyone affected by this violent, senseless act. Let us pray deeply for peace in the world and in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. 

The readings this weekend are powerful and a really clear view of how God thinks and acts quite differently from human thinking and understanding… we who follow Jesus are invited to think and act more and mor with the mind and heart of God and less like the flawed logic of the world…..

In the first reading, King David is chosen by God; and he is not the most likely of the candidates, judging by purely human standards….Each of the seven sons of Eli would come forward, and yet God did not choose any of them…. Instead, God chooses the youngest and most unlikely of the sons, the shepherd-boy, David. It reminds us that humans look at appearances….. but God sees into the heart.

This is an age-old message, but how often do we fall for judging by appearances and not been able to see the truth because of pre-formed assumptions.// God has warned us, time and time again, but it is all too easy to fall for this trap.

This gospel featuring the cure of the blind man and the extraordinary response of the religious authorities around Jesus, is really quite a delightful and intriguing chapter. It is a superb case-study in “spiritual blindness and pride”…. The experts in God’s law REFUSE to see what is right in front of them.. and its obvious to everyone….. They twice ask the man how he came to see again but they refuse to listen to his answer or accept it… this man now sees the truth of the gospel but they call him a sinner and will not listen to his experience…….and accuse him of never being able to understand anything… so they think they have nothing to learn from him and learn nothing from him……They look but do not see, they listen but do not understand… they are answered but refuse to accept…. They are invited into God’s Kingdom and refuse.. calling it the opposite….. truly astounding…

We are told the Lord went looking for this once blind man and spoke to him……..Now, not only has the man got his physical sight back… …..but now, he can see Jesus with the eyes of faith, which is an even greater gift that he has received from the Lord…. 

The man believes in what Jesus tells him and worships him.

The experts in the law, and those considered publicly righteous, do not respond in the way they should to Jesus.
These people will not let go of their stubborn and wrong beliefs. This gospel and the teachings of Jesus make it quite clear that God is a God of love who wants nothing but that which is for our good… for all people….. …..In the midst of the hurts, disappointments and tragedies of life God’s hand is to be seen at work not in the cause of these disasters, but rather, God is seen at work ….in the hands of those who help to heal and rebuild //…. God is in the midst of us,/ suffering with us,/ and sometimes for us, and always with us……helping to bring life and hope out of even the worst that the world throws up at us….

Today’s gospel reminds us that Ultimately, anything done in the name of religion that does not foster greater love of God, and love of neighbour as one self, is not authentic Christianity.

To go through the outward observances of the law and then go out and act unjustly, or without compassion or mercy or consideration and kindness towards others, is a contradiction in terms. 

In this time of Lent, particularly, may the lord show us any areas of spiritual blindness within our lives……and open us up to love more and more as he calls us to do.

A sobering lesson in this gospel is here for everyone… This man whom people judged to be a sinner, had understood the truth and meaning of Jesus better than the seemingly righteous and apparently “sinless” experts in the law. They could not get past their prejudices and pre-formed judgements of this man as a sinner and a lowly nobody… so they would not listen to his experience.. They would not give him the time of day….. But he had the enlightenment of Christ within him….. May the Lord help us to see beyond appearances, avoid jumping to conclusions based on outward qualities alone…. and help us to be open to everyone around us…. open to hear the good news in the most surprising places.. and people…

Fr Paul W. Kelly
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Fourth Sunday of Lent. A

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
You were sent to heal the contrite of heart. Lord, have mercy.// You came to call sinners:Christ, have mercy. //You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us:Lord, have mercy.//
Memorial Acclamation

We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
      Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
      Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Preface:  Fourth Sunday Lent 

Eucharistic Prayer I p.49

Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

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