Fourth Sunday of Lent - 3-18-2012 (Cycle A for RCIA Scrutiny)
The blind man today sees. Jesus Christ, the light of the world, has shown into his heart and into his life, and he sees beyond just the physical world, to look into the things that truly matter and endure. As in the anointing of young David as King of Israel, where we hear that “Man does not see as God sees,” we need God's help to understand truth about our lives and about the world. This comes only by faith. A FOLLOWER OF JESUS MUST HAVE FAITH THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD COME AMONG US. Nothing can replace this.
St. Thomas Aquinas notes four good effects of faith, without which no one can be called a true Christian:
The first is that through faith the soul is united to God, and by it there is between the soul and God a union akin to marriage. "I will espouse thee in faith."[Hosea 2].
The second effect of faith is that eternal life is already begun in us; for eternal life is nothing else than knowing God.
The third good that comes from faith is that right direction which it gives to our present life. We see this in that the blind man obeys Christ clearly, so his faith is made visible by his response to Christ's demands.
The fourth effect of faith is that by it we overcome temptations: "The holy ones by faith conquered kingdoms." We know that every temptation is either from the world or the flesh or the devil. The devil would have us disobey God and not be subject to Him. The world tempts us either by attaching us to it in prosperity, or by filling us with fear of adversity. "This is the victory which overcometh the world: our faith." The flesh, however, tempts us by attracting us to the swiftly passing pleasures of this present life. All of these are conquered by faith, since through faith we know that He is the Lord of all things and must therefore be obeyed, thus rejecting the devil's lie. Also, we faith overcomes the lures of the world and the flesh in that we believe in a life to come better than this one, and hence we despise the riches of this world and the fleeting joys it offers us. Only faith can show us this, only by faith can we see.
What kind of faith do we have? Do we show our faith by obedience to Christ? Do we need Christ's help to shine in the darkness of our hearts, to help us see?
Today, in faith, come before Our Lord, and ask for an increase in faith, so that we can 1. be united with God, so that (2) His eternal life can begin in us, that (3) we may walk clearly in his ways, and (4) we may overcome the temptations we face to sin. If we ask God for the gift and make ourselves open to receive it, He will never withhold his Grace from us.