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Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent Celebration of the Second Scrutiny

1 Samuel 16:1,6-7, 10-13a; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Saint John Baptist de LaSalle Saint Stephen March 10, 2024


I was thinking about the choices we make, each and every day of our life. Our days are simply filled with opportunities to make choices that are good or bad for us. Sometimes, and it's kind of like winning a lottery, we make really good choices. And sometimes, again, kind of like losing a lottery, we make some really poor choices. Nonetheless, when we make poor choices, we often learn from our mistakes. Yet, no matter how good or poor the choice we make, we all hope to be chosen, at least for something that seems to us to be important to our life. It might be the type of work we would like to do, the kind of church we would like to join, or perhaps we are hoping to find someone to marry, or just be noticed in life.

 

To be left out, while others are chosen, is very disappointing. When we are chosen it has an immense impact on the way we see ourselves and those who are a part of our family, church, and community. However, the choice we make for our spiritual life is the most important choice we can make. So, there are two words in our Scripture for this weekend that will help us make sense out of our spiritual life. Those two words are, "See" and "Choose," and they concern a future King of Israel. God speaks to Samuel, the Prophet, telling him that one of the sons of a man named Jesse was to be the King. So, Jesse brings his sons before Samuel, who says, "Not any of them, I have rejected them.”

 

"Do you have any other options," Samuel asks? Jesse says, "Well, my youngest son, David is out in the fields herding sheep, but he is too young and untrained to be a King." So, David, the young untrained boy, is brought before Samuel, and to everyone's surprise is anointed King of Israel. "This is the one I have chosen," says God. Not as people see does God see, people see appearances, but God looks into the heart." So, that is the story of the choice of David as King. A small untrained boy, who becomes the most famous leader in the history of Israel. It is a story about "seeing" and "choosing," insight and choose.

 

The second time we hear those words comes to us from the Gospel of John. It is a question about who is considered blind and who can actually see. A man who has been blind from birth is told that Jesus is walking by. The man shouts out, "I want to see." Jesus says, "Go and wash, you are healed." Other people hear and see what has happened. Jesus is criticized for the choice he made to heal this man. However, Jesus points out that the man made the right choice to be healed and now he can see again. It is the other people who are actually blind. They are not able to see an act of healing as God working in their life. For them, the law was more important than compassion. Once again, Jesus looks beyond what others could see. God looks into the heart. God sees what many cannot see. I suspect that in our daily life, we will find that seeing into the heart is a lifelong task. We are often blind to the many opportunities God puts before us. Nonetheless, those choices are always before us. Perhaps we need to be willing to look a little deeper. It's all about seeing and choosing.

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