At the mid-point of our Lenten journey–Laetare Sunday, the Church pauses to give praise and thanks to God for the blessings we’ve received thus far. The priest wears a rose vestment which symbolizes our muted celebration of this halfway point. While not quite as festive as white, rose is a more joyful color than purple, hence the reason it was chosen for this celebration.
The elect preparing for the Easter sacraments celebrate the second scrutiny. The Church rejoices with them as they delve more deeply into the mysteries of their upcoming reception into full communion with God’s people.
Finally, the readings for this week remind us that we are called to see as God sees. In other words, we have been made children of the light. Christ gives us light by which we see the wonders of God displayed in our midst. Moreover, Jesus heals a blind man and not only restores his sight, but also gives him a new lease on life. But this healing comes at a price: he becomes the object of scrutiny and derision. The Pharisees don’t like that the man was healed, because blindness–or any kind of sickness or disease for that matter–was a sign of God’s disfavor with that person. In healing the blind man, Jesus restores him to the community. Jesus forgives his sin. Jesus makes him whole again.
Some people like to keep us in our sinfulness or sickness. They don’t like when we have a conversion experience. They don’t relish the thought of us somehow getting up out of the muck and mire and living life as we should. For example, people may get jealous if we lose weight, get a new job, find a new life partner or simply enjoy life. They have pigeon-holed us and therefore can’t stand it when we break free from our chains.
I would encourage you to reflect on the man born blind and ask yourself, “What blinds me from seeing God at work in my life?” If you were to be healed of this blindness, what would your life be like? Finally, if you were free from sin, what things could you accomplish? May you be strengthened on your Lenten sojourn, so that Easter may truly be a day of resurrection, not only for our Lord but for each of us as well.