Fourth Sunday of Lent Homily

Posted on Mar 28, 2017


26 March 2017

I have been very fortunate in my life.

Other than the usual childhood ailments I’ve come this far pretty well intact.

I say all this because by and large I’ve known very little personally,

of what can be called “structural evil”–that is evil where choices are not made.

Things or situations that from the very root are “wrong.”

In other words, I don’t know what it is like to be born blind.

to watch the death of my child,

to be caught in a vicious circle of poverty,

to lose someone I love in an earthquake or other natural disaster.

I don’t know what it is like to come up against those things that make  you cry out: “Why Lord?” “Why me Lord?”

And that is the question at the outset of the Gospel:

Whose sin was it Lord that caused this man to be born blind?

There had to be a reason, a reason, what is the reason?

None of us want to hear, “There is no reason, it is part of the chaos of the world.”

This is part of the chaos of this world.

And that is what Jesus says which infuriates the crowds.

No one sinned.  It’s nobody’s fault.

The first thing Jesus does is release the boy and his parents from any blame.

And he does not say that God willed this to happen.

What he does say is that even in this downright evil thing, good can come of it.

  The second thing Jesus does is follow up that internal release with a sign, a sacrament,

physical healing.

What’s upper most in importance here is the internal release.

There is no doubt that all of us would like to see miracles happen every day.

We would all like to see people released from the terrible and tragic,

the structural evil that is present in the world.

But you know I wonder if it is ever possible to be released from the physical elements of structural evil without first coming to a personal interior release.

I don’t want to sound facile or cheap this weekend.

I don’t want this to be a “keep a stiff upper lip” homily.

I do want to believe, that it is possible to come to inner release, to give up bitterness and blame.

I do want to believe we can help each other stop fault finding and blaming

and getting on with living, seeing the world as a place where God’s glory can shine through

even the most tragic and unfortunate of circumstances we encounter.

The question is will we do that for each other?