Light and Blindness
Scripture reading: Healing of the man born blind (Jn 9:1-41)
The miracle of the healing of the man born blind is closely connected to Jesus as the Light of the world. It is not clear from the Gospel text when it was exactly that Jesus declared to the scribes and the Pharisees, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12); but it most probably happened sometime between the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) and the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), both of which are celebrations that has something to do with light.
The Feast of Dedication lasts for eight days and commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem by the lighting of candles on each day of the festival. In the Feast of Tabernacles, there was, in Jesus’ time, a great ceremony called the “Illumination of the Temple,” which involved the lighting of four golden oil lamps in the Court of Women. These lamps were each seventy-five feet high and were lit all night long; they illuminated the entire city. The light from these lamps reminded the people of the pillar of fire that appeared shortly after Moses led the Israelites out of their captivity in Egypt, and continued to guide them at night through the desert for forty years.
If Jesus, in fact, made His declaration during the Feast of Tabernacles, imagine the sight and the impact of the words “I am the Light of the world” which Jesus said at the temple courtyard with the four huge golden lamps at the background. The Messiah is the Light promised by God to deliver the world darkened by sin. By saying “I am the Light of the world,” Jesus declared Himself as the Messiah, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of the ‘Light’ promised by God (cf. Isaiah 9:1).
The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2) Back then, physical blindness was believed to be caused by sin; but Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” (John 9:3) Through the healing of the man born blind, Jesus not only demonstrated His divine power to heal, but He also made the point that spiritual blindness leads to eternal death.
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” (John 9:39) The first part pertains to people like the man born blind – he was physically blind, but after Jesus healed him, he was able to see Jesus and believe in Him. The second part pertains to people like the scribes and the Pharisees – they can physically see Jesus, but because of their hardness of heart, were not able to see who Jesus truly is.
In Jesus Christ, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. He came as the “Light of the world.” (CCC 2466) John 12 tells us that Jesus came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in Him might not remain in darkness. (John 12:46) As the Light of the world, Jesus shines His light on those who live in the darkness of sin, so that they may see the truth, believe in Him and come out to live in the light of Christ. Jesus said, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) That is what it means to live in the light of Christ – to live in the truth which sets us free from the bondage of sin.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2022, the estimated amount of losses due to fraud which have been reported to the FTC was $8.8 billion, which was 30% more than it was in 2021. 5 most common scams are (#1) Imposter Scams, (#2) Online Shopping scams, (#3) scams involving prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries, (#4) Investment scams and (#5) Business and Job Opportunity scams.
Victims of fraud have been known to not only deal with financial losses, but leaves many emotional and psychological scars as well. To help you protect yourself from fraud, we have prepared a list of some advice from the FTC. This list does not cover all possible scenarios of fraud, but it is a step in the right direction. The same information will be posted on our church’s Facebook page and Tabella. Printed copies are available in the church foyer. Share it with your family and friends.
We have reached our goal for this year’s Archbishops Annual Appeal. Thank you for your support.
Attention parents and children: Sunday School will meet immediately after the 10:30am Mass in the Nursery room. Today’s lesson is about St. Joseph, whose feast day is on Monday, March 20. Parents are invited to sit in during the class.
Attention all small group coordinators, we will have our first prayer and reflection meeting today at 12:15pm in the conference room.
Prayer List: Vun Lilian, Liang Chenjing, Pan Bohao, Angela Griffin, Wang Dacheng, Long Guorui, Zhang Qiang and Xu Taicheng.