Seeing with eyes of faith
After calling Peter and his brother Andrew, John and his brother James, to follow him as his disciples, Jesus enters a synagogue – which for the Jews was their church – in order to teach. The people are astonished at his teaching because he teaches with authority, and not like the scribes.
Jesus teaches with authority because he is the Author of every human life, of true love and the light of all wisdom. With God the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son of God created the universe, since he is the Eternal Word through whom God the Father called the universe into existence.
In today‟s Gospel we see, with the eyes of faith, that Jesus does more astonishing things. He has just left the Temple in Jerusalem because some of the Jews were threatening to stone him since he said, “„Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.‟ So the Jews said to him, „You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?‟ Jesus said to them, „Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.‟ So they picked up stones to throw at him…”
As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, „Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?‟ Jesus answered, „Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.‟” Jn 8:56-58, 9:1-4
First, Jesus clarifies that because people might have a defect, in this case blindness, it does not mean that they or their parents sinned. Rather, since Adam and Eve sinned – Original Sin – one of the sad consequences is that disorder has entered the world. But Jesus Christ was sent here to re-order and tie everything back to God so that it works correctly; like a ligament that heals so that the person can operate correctly again. Jesus Christ established the Catholic religion (which shares the root word “lig” in Latin meaning to “tie”) to reconnect us to God so that we can live a virtuous, faithful life, and finally enter Heaven for those who persevere in following him and have be-come perfectly purified.
Secondly, Jesus says that “We” must do the works of God, because when we have a living faith we forgive and seek forgiveness, help the material and spiritual poor, pray and worship, all for the glory of God and the salvation of souls – until we die. After we die, we can no longer merit any advancement in our spiritual life. “Night is coming when no one can work.”
Jesus said that he is the “light of the world” and heals the man born blind on the Sabbath, of which the Pharisees object. The blind man begins to worship Christ who says, “I came into this world for judgement, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”
Some of the Pharisees overhear this and say, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” And Jesus responds to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, „We see,‟ so your sin remains.” Such is the state of many in the world today, for sin blinds a person from the truth of God and his divine Son Jesus Christ, who is head of the Catholic Church.
For many people do not believe in God. They say that since they cannot see God, they do not believe. But ask them if they believe in human cells that make up the body. Most will say that they believe in cells. Ask them if they can see a cell with their eyes only.
If they are honest, they will say they only see cells through a microscope. Ask them if they believe the scientists Francis Crick and James Watson who said that DNA has over a billion parts to it in order to pass on information that allows for life to
be sustained. If they say “Yes, but how does this prove that God exists?”
We can share with them that scientists have discovered all this material information found in a cell, but they do not know how it has come to be alive. Life is a gift from a pure Spirit, and that physically unseen Spirit is God. For one human cell to be alive, all those billions of parts have to be in working order and be enlivened by a soul that keeps the human being alive.
Francis Crick, who made the discovery of DNA in 1953 with James Watson, studied it for decades and wrote, “an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”
Many people believe in scientists, although they have never studied all the books they have written. They believe them with natural faith, that is, they place their trust in them.
But many scientists only look to the physical world and are amazed by the incredible complexity. Many of them forget to look, or maybe choose not to look, to the spiritual world. Other scientists see the irreducible complexity of a single human cell and readily conclude that there must be an All-Powerful Creator Spirit who is All Knowing, All Wise, and is an All Loving Personal God for there to be human life.
Yet, when some people hear that Jesus Christ called his disciples to form a living Church centered on him who gave his life for those Church members, they choose not to believe. When some people study Church history and see how thou-sands of saints and martyrs have loved everyone, even forgiving their enemies while being persecuted and martyred, they choose not to believe.
When non-believers hear that God has revealed to us in the Bible that some angels have fallen away from God and have become demons to tempt us to sin against God and others, they say it sounds naïve. And yet, many of these same people embrace communism and socialism that historically has massacred over 30 million people in the last century, and still enslaves millions today, but some choose to close their ears to this historical fact.
Yet, we must try to dialogue with everyone out of love. For some people will believe us when we live and proclaim the truth that Jesus Christ teaches us to love God above all things, in order that we can love God within all people, even our enemies. This true love and the love of divine truth will illuminate souls and set us and all people free.
As Christian disciples let us praise Jesus Christ and place our faith in him, the Word of God, who is the source, sustainer, and goal of every human life. Let us pray in the Holy Name of Jesus to increase his divine virtues of faith, hope and love within our souls, within the Church and within those around us. Jesus Christ is the “light of the world” and has come to free us and the whole human family from the Devil who seeks to divide us from the true faith, and then enslave us in hell. By believing in Jesus Christ and practicing the Catholic Faith that he Authored, we can share the full spiritual truth with others and live in the light, love and freedom of God.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe