by Fr. Tommy Lane
What a privilege for the blind man to have met Jesus and be healed by him. What a privilege for him to have Jesus touch his eyes and bring him sight. Yet, who would think that a paste of clay applied to one’s eyes and then washing in the Pool of Siloam would restore the blind man’s sight. (John 9:6-7) But Jesus worked through clay and water. Jesus used ordinary elements around us in nature to convey his healing power. Jesus gave the gift of sight by using matter. The blind man could feel the paste of clay on his eyes, he could feel Jesus touching his eyes, he could hear Jesus, he could feel the water washing off the clay. He could not see Jesus, but Jesus came to him through touch and hearing. In the first reading, God works in a similar way. Samuel, under instructions from God, anointed David with oil and when he did so the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. (1 Sam 16:12-13) In the first reading and Gospel, God’s power and healing were conveyed through elements of nature applied to the body, were conveyed through matter.
When Jesus comes to us how does he come? Every time we receive the sacraments Jesus comes to us and there is a visible sign of Jesus coming to us invisibly through his sacrament. Just as the Holy Spirit came mightily upon David when he was anointed with oil by Samuel, and just as Jesus used the matter of clay and water for the healing of the blind man, Jesus comes to us in each sacrament when matter is used together with prayer and we call the prayer the “form.” So the matter and form of every sacrament is the visible sign of Jesus coming to us invisibly but powerfully in the sacrament.
Take this all of you and eat it, this is my Body which will be given up for you.
Take this all of you and drink from it: this is the cup of my Blood, the Blood of the new and everlasting Covenant…
Priest to Bridegroom:
John, do you take Mary as your wife,
Priest to Bride:
Mary, do you take John as your husband
When David was chosen by God as king, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him when he was anointed by Samuel with oil. When the blind man was healed by Jesus, the healing of Jesus came to him through being anointed with a paste of clay and washing in the Pool of Siloam. He could feel the paste of clay on his eyes, he could feel Jesus touching his eyes, he could hear Jesus, he could feel the water washing off the clay. He could not see Jesus but Jesus came to him through touch and hearing. Every time we receive the sacraments Jesus comes to us by touching our senses and there is a visible sign of Jesus coming to us invisibly through his sacrament. Who would think that anointing with oil would be the signal for the Spirit of the Lord to fall mightily on David? Who would think that anointing with a paste of clay and washing would restore sight? But God uses the ordinary elements of nature to convey his power and healing to us in the sacraments. In every sacrament Jesus comes to us invisibly but powerfully. As you receive the sacraments you hear Jesus, and Jesus touches you. Jesus touched the blind man and Jesus touches you when you receive his sacraments.
More homilies for the Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A
Related Homilies: Jesus as healer Jesus Our Healer heals us through the Mass and Sacraments
on the Psalm Jesus is the Good Shepherd
stories about divine light