I’ve heard that people deprived of one sense often develop keener abilities in their other senses. For example, those who are deaf learn to read lips and how to feel the beat of music. Beethoven for example, wrote some of his best music after he lost his sense of hearing. In today’s gospel (John 9:1-41), the man born blind develops the gift of insight that allows him to see who Jesus really is. He develops the gift of faith in Jesus as the Son of Man. On the other hand, the Pharisees who had sight and faith in the Torah (the law of God), were satisfied with themselves and saw no need to further their sense of faith. Their spiritual blindness cost them a marvelous opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with God.
Lent is a season in which we are reminded that our sense of faith requires further development. The saying “use it or lose it” sums up our reason to fast, pray, and give alms to the poor. These penitential practices, carried out in humility, will give us greater insight into our human limitations as well as the greatness and mercy of God.
- Fr. Carl