Reflection for Laetare Sunday, 22 March 2020

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,

Jesus said: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

“Go where I send you.” I wonder if Jesus wasn’t making a pun in sending the blind man to the Pool of Siloam. “Go wash in the Be Sent.” Jesus sends him, and in obediently following Jesus’ instructions, he is healed. It is in following Jesus’ commandments that we find our true joy, our true purpose, our true hope. We become who we are meant to be when our will and God’s Will align. The blind man found his sight and became a witness to Jesus, not after his healing, but in the midst of it.

What are we waiting for? Are we waiting to be healed before we start following Jesus? I am sure the first part of the blind man’s journey was not easy. He couldn’t see until he had washed, and Jerusalem was not a level, obstacle-free city. I imagine the journey to Siloam was a real trial for him, especially with clay smeared on his eyes and the excitement of Jesus’ promise pounding in his heart. So he went and washed, and came back able to see. The journey out in faith, sent by Christ, would of course lead him back to Christ eventually. If he wasn’t skipping and jumping for joy on the way down to the pool, I am sure he was on the way back. Do we have the same level of courage as the blind man?

We are stuck under quarantine or ‘social distancing’ for the present. Are we going to wait to serve Christ until the current trial is over? No! We will find a way to be Christ to each other, even if it is over social media, or even ancient technology like the telephone or shouting across the garden hedge. We can reach out to each other in prayer regardless of distance. We can begin the journey of faith and use this time to tackle the really big area of sin in our lives. We can offer our sufferings up to God and go where He sends us, even if confined to one geographic location.

Please do take part in the Holy Mass via radio or internet feed. Make a spiritual Communion and invite Jesus into your heart to heal whatever ails you. Lift up your brother, neighbor, coworker, or friend in need and toss them a roll of toilet paper to celebrate. This is Laetare Sunday! We rejoice in the coming Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus, no matter our earthly limitations. Christ Jesus has conquered sin and death; He will conquer sickness and isolation for us, too. Let us not wait around for the end, but make a joyful beginning of this journey in faith, and storm heaven with our prayers. Jesus, our Savior, be our hope and our joy, now and forever!

Peace in Christ,

Father Matthew Kuhn

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