Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Mary’s and Holy Family parishes
We can find ourselves in almost constant motion. For a moment the mystery of Jesus revealed in our Holy Week celebrations asks to stop and spend a moment thinking about where our movement is going.
In an ancient tradition of the Church for Lent, the three great Gospel readings from John are read. They are the woman at the well, the man born blind and the raising of Lazarus. Each reading moves us away from one thing toward something else.
In the Gospel of John chapter 4, we encounter the woman at the well. She had come to the well for water with her bucket. The coming to the well has been seen as a symbol for all that human beings look to for happiness: money, success, being thought well of, etc. These things of life can be quite good.
She begins to see Jesus as the answer for her thirst for what truly brings life. In a surprising moment she leaves the bucket at the well and goes back into town to tell others about Jesus. She becomes concerned with worship, with placing the direction of one’s life into the hands of God.
She moves away from what she came to the well for into the direction of placing her life into the hands of the Lord.
John’s Gospel it is thought could have been written as a catechism where chapter by chapter he tackles the great mysteries of faith. His remembrances of the events of Jesus’ life are beautifully put together.
In Chapter 9, another masterpiece, that can be read and re-read throughout one’s life to grow in the mystery of faith. This is the story of the man born blind. He experiences the profound healing of vision.
Of course, vision is bigger than just being able to physically see. It is also bound in our ability to see with the eyes of faith.
Besides the movement from blindness to sight the man moves from being a beggar to having something to offer. And what he now has is an unshakable faith in the one who has given the light to his eyes. In his final action of the story, he worships Jesus.
The third lesson that is given us in this season that was a preparatory season for people to enter the church through baptism is the story of the raising of Lazarus (John 11).
We get the strange line that Jesus hears his friend is sick and then waits a couple more days before going to see him, so that when he has arrived Lazarus has been dead for four days. Three days there was still hope, but after four days you were a goner.
Lazarus ends up with the dramatic movement of walking out of the tomb. The dead has been raised! Jesus gives the great command to untie him.
These three movements are going from my desires filling my life to God’s plan filling my life. The movement of blindness to really seeing what life is about and from death itself to life are the movements of the heart and spirit that we are invited into this Lent and Easter season.
When we make this journey part of the great joy of Easter we are truly able to worship in awe and wonder before our Lord.