Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A

1 Samuel 16: 1b.6-7.10-13a

Psalm 23

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

 Dear friends in Christ, peace be with you; today is the fourth Sunday of Lent and the liturgical readings are inviting us to meditate on the theme: “God elects his own people”.  God’s election is done in various ways, but today’s readings point out three manners: first of all, God elects people to carry out a particular task, this was the case with David in the first reading.  Secondly, God’s election passes through healing séance as Saint John tells us in his gospel today. And finally, God’s election is manifested in the life of those who are children of light as the second reading stresses it.

Thus in the first reading taken from the first book of Samuel, the prophet narrated how God asked him to go and to anoint a new king “Fill your horn with oil, and go I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons” says the Lord God. This is an imperative and declarative statement from God. God has chosen the young David not on the account of his physical stature nor on the account of his righteousness but on the account of God’s counsel and advice. Samuel and Jesse looked at the appearance thinking that God will surely elect one of his seven sons except for David. But finally, they all understood that God’s pedagogy is different from theirs when the last son, the forgotten one in the person of David was chosen by God.

Brethren, David become a king by the grace of God. He never dreamt that one day he will ascends to the royal throne. He was chosen out of nothing to be the representative of God in his nation. What we are today, the position we are holding currently comes from the will of God. Therefore, we need to be humble in life and acknowledge the hand of God in our success for our election comes from him.

In the gospel reading, saint John tells us how Jesus heals the blind man by birth. This blind man draws the attention of the disciples when they asked “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”.  For the Jewish people, sin always has a consequence, Jesus disciples thought that this man was blind because of his personal sin or because his parents have sinned. But all these allegations are not true. His blindness has nothing to do with sin as the disciples were thinking. And Jesus based on his blindness to manifest the power of God but at the same moment to raise him among the chosen ones of God. Those who God chooses have a particular mission to carry out. And the mission of this blind man after his healing is to acknowledge the divine origin of Jesus and to give a testimony among his own people who refuse to believe in Jesus.

 Dear friends, the healing of this blind man draws our attention to two things: one is about how the Pharisees constitute a hindrance to this man and want to maintain him in a state of sin. Two is how Jesus helped him understand the purpose of his healing. Today’s gospel is inviting us to reflect on our personal life whether we resemble the Pharisees or Jesus. Are we helping others or a hindrance?

Through the election, we are called to live a new life, to live as children of God and children of light. This was the advice of Saint Paul to the Ephesians. The majority of the Ephesians Christians were Gentiles but they embraced Christianity with joy without putting aside the practice of darkness. So Saint Paul is appealing to them to reject anything to do with darkness because they are now sons and daughters of light and their behavior needs to reflect Christ. we have received the same call as the Ephesians, therefore this advice is also applied to us today dear friends. We are called upon to give testimony through our way of living for we are chosen, people.

As chosen people, we become the representative of God in this world as was the case of David in the first reading.  But our election requests us to be men and women who acknowledge the divinity and the origin of Jesus our master and finally, our election requests us also to be models in our societies.  May we collaborate with God as chosen people, amen

Fr. Issere Agre

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