Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunday of the Man Born Blind

Yesterday, Byzantines celebrated the Sunday of the Man Born Blind. I'm sure you are familiar with the story:
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. John 9:1-7
On a Website for the Byzantine church in America, there is a beautiful adaptation of St. Ambrose of Milan on this story: St. Ambrose of Milan teaches that the blind man touched by Jesus received more then just his sight. In one instant we see both the power of his divinity and the strength of his holiness. As the divine light, he touched this man and enlightened him. As priest, by an action symbolizing baptism he wrought in him his work of redemption. The only reason for his mixing clay with the saliva and smearing it on the eyes of the blind man was to remind you that he who restored the man to health by anointing his eyes with clay is the very one who fashioned the first man out of clay, and that this clay that is our flesh can receive the light of eternal life through the sacrament of baptism.

You, too, should come to Siloam, that is, to him who was sent by the Father, as he says in the Gospel: “My teaching is not my own; it comes from him who sent me.” Let Christ wash you, and then you will see. (Adapted from Letter 67)

This just appealed to me today. Thought I'd share it.

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