HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
THEME: FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Beloved in Christ, this Sunday is called Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday and it’s derived from the first word of today’s liturgy (the introit). It is to remind us of the event we look forward to at the end of the Lenten journey. The use of the flowers around the altar and the rose-coloured vestment are also outward signs that symbolize the Church’s joy in anticipation of the resurrection.
Beloved, our readings today present us with yet another fine opportunity to rethink our lives. We have a choice to make between being in the light or staying in the darkness; associating with the Light of the World to make us ‘somebodies’, or remaining in our blindness to grope in the dark.
The song, ‘’Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes let me see’’ might have been the blind man’s song of worship today. His obedience to the direction of God led to his deliverance from the bondage of blindness. Notwithstanding the fact that he did not know Jesus, he took a step of faith and without questioning, heeded to Christ’s instructions. We have doubted God in many situations and have made most of our moments of breakthroughs and deliverance pass us by. Our obedience and unwavering trust in God and walking in the light of His Word is the path to our healing and deliverance. Like the blind man in the Gospel, we are also blind – our being too busy, being too worried about the cares of this world, being filled with needless anxiety, focusing so much on our transient pains, afflictions and disappointments, among others. In our state of blindness, we consequently fail to see the Saviour in our storms and the glory that lies ahead and awaits us.
Jesus, the Light of the world is ready to shed His light on us. He tells us that whoever follows Him will have the light of life. As our eyes are opened by God and we step out of the darkness into the marvellous light of life, it does not mean we would be free from the attractions and desires for the worldly things or that they would disappear. Ours is a journey of daily taking up our crosses and striving to overcome the many temptations, hurdles and bumps on the narrow way. It is said that St. Teresa of Avila asked, “O Lord, why do you put such difficulties on our way?” To which an inward voice replied, “don’t complain daughter, this is the way I treat my friends.” Her response was, “Yes Lord, and that’s why you have only few of them.” It is God’s grace that can help us to hold on fast and say ‘No’ to the fruitless works of darkness, and to awake from the sleep and death of darkness.
It is only through a personal encounter with Christ, our Light, that our lives would be changed for the better. And after this change, we are to witness Him to others, just as the blind man did. Our changed lives may amaze people like the Pharisees, but it is even in such moments that we ought to glorify God and proclaim to others the Saviour who took us out of our blindness and darkness.
No matter how hidden we are or insignificant we seem to be, when the light of God shines on us, like it did on David, nations and kings would bow to our rising.
As we continue our Lenten journey, may we allow ourselves to be healed of all our blindness to the works of the light. May we forsake the fruitless works of darkness, may we disentangle ourselves from all self-pity and seeing ourselves as useless, and may we allow Christ to lift us up and let our lights shine before men that they may see our good works and give glory to God.
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