This week's reflection on faith shows us the aspect of faith that leads us to see God, even when we have been blinded. The more we long for God in prayer and the more we begin to be satisfied by God, the more we realize that we are not able to see God.
There are many things that can prevent us from seeing God. This weekend, our gospel shows us one of the things that blinds us; sin.
The blindness of our blind man has always been seen by the spiritual fathers and commentators as an analogy to sin. Jesus is clear in the gospel that the reason for the blindness is not due to the sin of the man or the sin of his parents but when the spiritual fathers read this passage, they recognize what is taking place in the life of the blind man and they see it as an analogy for us, as sinners.
When we sin, we cut ourselves off from God; especially when we have committed mortal sins. Prior to our sins, there is a connection between us and God but the more we sin the weaker this connection becomes. It can be weakened so much that eventually we may no longer be connected to God at all; we may be unable to see God. Think of this connection with God like a chain link fence connected between two posts. God is one of the posts and we are the other post. When we do not sin, the chain link fence connects us to God. But, as we start sinning this fence begins to be cut by our sins. Our venial sins cut single links and eventually, due to many cuts the link between us and God may be weakened. When we commit mortal sins, the chain link between us and God gets completely cut and there is no longer any link between us. These cuts in the link fence, whether they are small or complete, cause some kind of separation between us and God and this separation means that we can become blind to God.
Even in our blindness, though, we may be able to come to see God. It is through the gift of Faith that we are able to recognize our sinfulness and how it is that we have lost our connection with God, and ultimately our sight of God. This same faith gives us the motivation to call out to Jesus asking to be healed because we know that the only one that can truly heal us of our blindness is Jesus.
Jesus, who was motivated to give the blind man sight, found faith in him. The blind man believes that Jesus is the Son of God and as the Son of God, he believes that Jesus will give him his sight back. His faith moves him to beg Jesus to restore his sight. It is his faith that allows him to have confidence in the power of God. This confidence moves Jesus to respond by giving him the very thing he desires; his sight.
For us, our faith should motivate us to ask God to give us sight to see Him. This healing of our blindness will come through the forgiveness of our sins. The obvious, and most surest, way of knowing that we have been forgiven of our sins is through the Sacrament of Confession. In confession, the priest is serving in the person of God and he becomes God’s instrument of mercy to the blind penitent desiring sight. Another way for us to be forgiven of our sins and to regain our sight is through our perfect contrition and desire to go to confession. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we may be unable to go to the Sacrament of Confession. In those times, we can still be forgiven of our sins through perfect contrition. Perfect contrition is the desire to go to confession because we are sorry for our sins and our sorrow is not motivated out of fear of punishment or damnation but motivated out of our love for God. With perfect contrition, we still must go to confession when the sacrament is available and to confess all the sins we have committed since our last confession but we believe that those sins have been forgiven before the celebration of the sacrament of confession.
In our present moment, we are not having our regularly scheduled confessions and we will not be having our penance service this Thursday but it is possible to go to confession by making an individual appointment with me. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to make an appointment to go to confession, ask God for the grace of perfect contrition and have confidence that He will forgive you. Once you are able to make confession, confess all your sins, including the ones that you have sought forgiveness through perfect contrition, since your last confession.
As we journey this week with Jesus to Calvary, reflect on the areas of sin that blind you from seeing God. If you are unaware of an area of sin that blinds you from seeing God, invite God to show you one of those areas. When you recognize the area of sin. allow yourself to be motivated by faith to ask God to give you sight to see Him by forgiving your sins.
God gave sight to the blind man that desired to see. He wants to give sight to your blindness as well.