Monday March 31, 2003 (Audio) Homily by Fr. Robert Altier   Fourth Week of Lent


Reading (Micah 7:7-9)   Gospel (St. John 9:1-41)


In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Our Lord opening the eyes of this man who was born blind, and the Lord telling us that He came specifically so that those who do not see will be able to see and those who do see will not. And so we hear about this man who was unable to see, and suddenly his vision is given to him and he was able to recognize the Lord. When Jesus asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” he asked, “Who is he, that I may believe?” When Jesus told him, he said, “I do believe,” and worshiped Him. Immediately, he recognized the truth and he responded.


That is compared, of course, to the Pharisees, who knew the truth, who were the ones to uphold the truth, and yet, because they were divided about who Jesus was and where He came from, they – who had the light of God’s truth – suddenly became blind. They refused to acknowledge the truth when He was right there in front of them because they thought they had the market cornered on the truth. They thought they knew how God was supposed to act and what He was supposed to do.


The interesting thing, when you hear about all these different points, is that when they asked the man, “What do you have to say about him?” the man said, “He is a prophet.” Now they claimed that they followed Moses. Moses told them that there would be a prophet just like him who would be raised up for the people. So again we see another point where they totally missed on everything that they claimed to believe, which, again, is a great warning for each of us that we have to be very careful not to assume that we know how God is going to act, what He is going to do, and how He is going to do it. All we have to do is look at one point after the next of how God has fulfilled what He promised in Scripture and realize that almost every single one is not the way the Jewish people expected it would be fulfilled. And it is not the way that any of us would have expected it to be fulfilled when we simply read the words of the Old Testament. But when we see in the New Testament how God fulfilled the various things, then we see precisely how He fulfilled what He promised and that it is exactly what He promised – just not what it was thought to be.


We still have more promises that Our Lord has made to us, things not yet fulfilled, and we are looking forward to them. But we must be very cautious in that same way that we do not assume we know how it is going to happen because the way God works is not the way we expect Him to work. We simply need to leave our hearts open because with the eyes of the body we are going to be tricked and fooled. The devil will do lots of things, and so we need to see with the eyes of the heart, with the eyes of the soul, so that we will be able to see the works of God and give Him the glory.


*  This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.