Gospel – John 9:1-41

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
Night is coming when no one can work.
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.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He replied,
“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
So I went there and washed and was able to see.”
And they said to him, “Where is he?”

He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe
that he had been blind and gained his sight
until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
They asked them,
“Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
How does he now see?”
His parents answered and said,
“We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
We do not know how he sees now,
nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Ask him, he is of age;
he can speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they were afraid
of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed
that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
he would be expelled from the synagogue.
For this reason his parents said,
“He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind
and said to him, “Give God the praise!
We know that this man is a sinner.”
He replied,
“If he is a sinner, I do not know.
One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
So they said to him,
“What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them,
“I told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?

Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
They ridiculed him and said,
“You are that man’s disciple;
we are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses,
but we do not know where this one is from.”
The man answered and said to them,
“This is what is so amazing,
that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God,
he would not be able to do anything.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, ADo you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them,
“If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Reflection by Ms. Amanda Webster of Christian Brothers Academy, Syracuse, NY

“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

When house searching one summer day a few years ago, my husband and I walked into a home that had already been cleared of all the furniture and belongings and all that hung on the wall in each room was a mirror. There was a mirror above the mantle, a mirror in the hallway, a mirror in each bedroom, the basement, the dining room and of course the bathroom. We both chuckled a bit at the family’s decorating. Later our real estate agent informed us that by doing this trick the home looks bigger.

On average a person looks into a mirror about a dozen times per day. In this specific home, there is no doubt that number would probably be above the average. But why do humans constantly spend time gazing at ourselves?  Research indicates that the answer isn’t just checking our hair or looking to see if there’s food in our teeth.  The real answer to why we keep “checking ourselves out” in the mirror is to seek confirmation of who we really are.  Unfortunately, some will stare at their reflection and speak to themselves untruths of how we believe the world might see us – “I’m not good enough or I’m not pretty enough” – when really we should stare at that person in the mirror and see ourselves as God sees us – as His beautiful child.

A mentor of mine would always lovingly remind me that we need to do our own inventory before anyone else’s. As a school counselor, she recognized that students and faculty should focus on themselves and develop that self-love. That love ultimately comes from God. That beauty comes from God. Even when we feel that we are in a dark valley, we should “fear no evil, for God is at our side, with His rod and staff that gives us courage.” (Psalms 23:3).

Like the man in the gospel, sometimes we too are blinded. We are unable to view what’s in the mirror because of all the distractions around us. Theologian St. Augustine once said, “Our heart is restless until it rests upon You.” We will continue to be blinded until we see with our faith and  see ourselves as God sees us.

In the book Wishful Thinking by Frederic Buechner, the author notes: “The place where your Creator calls you to is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” When we follow God’s call we are able to experience Buechner’s words – a place of deep gladness that meets the world’s needs. Our vocation allows us to dig deeper into our faith and recognize Jesus in the people we serve. When we see through the eyes of faith and see ourselves the way that God sees us, it allows us to see others the way that God sees them.  We have to be willing to sidestep all the other distractions and open the door to God’s call.  We have to be willing to stop looking in the mirror and start looking in our hearts.  This is where we will find the truth and the confirmation we seek about who we really are.

“Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

Questions for Reflection

  • “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light.” – Ephisians 5:13
  • What brings you closer to God’s light and love? Can you forgo other things to spend more time with this person, place, or thing that brings you closer to God’s light?
  • “People will come and go in your life, but the person in the mirror will be there forever. So be good to yourself.”
  • What are you doing to help yourself be the best version of you?
  • What do you like the most about yourself?
  • Take a moment to dwell on God’s unconditional and ever present love for you.


Amanda is an 11th grade Religion teacher at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York. This is Amanda’s third year teaching Morality and Social Justice. Previously, Amanda was a Campus Minister at a Syracuse diocesan school. In addition to teaching, Amanda organizes two mission trips for CBA – one entitled Summer Servants; an immersion program in Syracuse (the 8th poorest city in America) and the other to St. Francis Inn (a soup kitchen in Philadelphia, PA). Amanda is grateful to be a part of the Lasallian family.

For all the readings for this Sunday of Lent, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website (USCCB.org)