Sunday, March 02, 2008

Just go! (4th Sunday of Lent)

Of all the people in the Gospel who couldn’t see,
The one man who was healed:
Did you notice, he was only one who,
without question or delay,
simply went and did as the Lord said.
Everyone else tried to analyze, argue or deny.

That’s not to say we can’t ask questions.
If we saw someone who was blind, now able to see,
we’d ask the same questions they did.
Yet, there comes a point when we know:
no more delays—just go!

When I was 19, I left the Catholic Church,
And joined another church. I came back 10 years later.
Over that time, I had questions,
I debated and wrestled—and that was right.

But, there came a moment, and I remember it vividly.
It was during Lent: as I drove home from work one day,
past a Catholic church, I heard the question in my head:
“What holds you back?” And I knew: “Nothing, Lord.”

A day or two later,
I went to confession for the first time in 10 years.
So, how about you? Are you holding back, or delaying,
on something you know the Lord wants you to do?

For a lot of us, that’s what happens
with the sacrament of penance.
It’s no great mystery why that happens.
Not many of us want to admit our sins,
especially to another human being.

Maybe we get discouraged,
Or we rationalize, I’m doing pretty good.
I go through exactly the same thing.

Again, the blind man could have had all the same feelings.
Did you notice, he didn’t ask to be healed?
Maybe he’d gotten used to it, or had given up hope.
He could have asked, “why this business with the clay?
Can’t you heal me without that?”

Instead, he simply went and did what the Lord asked.
He, and he alone, was healed.

So—for the sacrament of penance—just go!
We have confessions Wednesday at 5 pm,
and twice on Saturdays,
And we’ll have a Penance Service
this Tuesday evening at St. Boniface.

As Mass began today, we prayed the words of Isaiah:
But wait, Lent is about self-denial—
what are we rejoicing about?

The blind man in the Gospel,
after the Lord put clay over his eyes,
and sent him to the pool:
what might he have been thinking?

I don’t know, but: if he felt certain he would be healed,
then we can be sure his heart swelled with hope.
He didn’t walk, he ran to that pool!

Well then, the same for us:
Even as we pray, and confront our sins,
and ask God to help us change,
You and I really can be completely sure
God will forgive and heal us.

So some among us can’t wait to be baptized.
The rest of us can—in confession—
know that Christ will make us clean once again.

And, when we share the Eucharist at Mass,
We are the blind man who can now see.
We come to worship the one who healed us.

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