When confronted with miracles, even in the Gospel, in a time of action, people still struggle to rationalize the truth in front of them and the human logic they are impaired with. Sunday's Gospel, chronicling how Jesus gave sight to a blind man.
But the real blindness is the community that cannot believe what they are seeing. They say that this is just a man who looks like the blind man, despite knowing him his entire life. The community cannot possibly understand what has actually happened, so they create their own version of the miracle.
How often do we do this? We experience our own, small-scale miracles and messages throughout our lives and rationalize them so that they fit into our own, limited perceptions. We are often blinded by our own humanity and it is faith and Christ that truly opens our eyes.
Lent, the fasting, praying, and giving, helps us to overcome the humanity that blinds us. It helps us to push pass these fragile shells that prevent us from seeing and believing in the greatness that God has blessed us with. As we continue on this Lenten journey, we need to keep in mind the greater purpose of what we are doing. We continue on this journey mindful of the humanity that so often trips us and makes us fall, the Original Sin we were all born with.
Today, pick something you depend on, you use as a crutch to get you through the day to fast from. Facebook, your evening beverage, your daily gossip session, whatever it is that you lean on; replace it with God through prayer. Finally, give sight to those who have yet to see. Share your faith and help someone else see today.
Fast from your crutch, replacing with prayer, and give sight.
"love...is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Today's Gospel features Jesus being tested by the scribes and Pharisees, not an uncommon story to take place. But what is unusual is that Jesus satisfies them with His answers, and the scribe satisfies Him as well. They both can agree that love is more important, worth more than the burnt offerings and sacrifices, following the rituals of the culture.
The Gospels over the last week or so have debated "the rules" back and forth. Do they need to be followed exactly? Are they more like guidelines? Did Jesus support them? Did He abolish them? What are we supposed to do this!
Today answers that question. Yes, the rules are there and they are important. But the most important rule, to love God with all our hearts, minds, and bodies needs to come first. Sacrifices and burnt offerings mean nothing if we don't love God and our neighbor first. It doesn't matter how much meat we don't eat today if we don't act with love towards God and our neighbors.
Today, as we fast, pray and give, we first need to love. Try to fast from a place of love, abstaining from meat today while deeply loving God. Pray for the strength to love our neighbor, even the ones who are different than us (like in the Good Samaritan), even the ones we don't agree with. Finally, give God all the love we have to give, try to let love consume you the way Jesus asks us to: mind, body, and soul.
Fast with love, pray for strength, give God love as Jesus taught us.