Episode 428 – Open Your Eyes and Follow Christ

It is too easy ignore the work of God when we choose to remain blind. Christ reveals Himself to us through His works and grace, but when we prefer to remain blind to Him, we refuse to believe in Christ.

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My brothers and sisters, on this sixth Sunday of Pascha, we call it the Sunday of the Blind Man because the church commemorates this truly amazing miracle, if you can say amazing miracle, because every miracle is amazing. But this particular miracle was a sign from the Old Testament that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, because the Messiah was going to be able to give sight to the people who were born blind, meaning that the Messiah is the Creator, and only the Creator can correct something that was incomplete at birth. And this is why when Jesus performs the miracle, He uses the same actions as He did when He created humanity in the first place. He reaches down and He picks up the dirt from the earth, the same way that He created Adam and Eve, to show the people this is the Creator. He mixes it with spit, He anoints his eyes. He says, “Now go to the pool and wash.”

Now, unfortunately for the crowd, this was the Sabbath Day, and the Pharisees, set in their way, already in agreement to not believe Jesus Christ. Now, if you can imagine being so set in your ways that you, in advance, said, “I don’t care what he does, I’m not going to believe him.” That was where the Pharisees were. And so when the apostles said to Jesus, “Was this man born blind because he sinned or because his parents?” And Christ said, “Neither. He was born blind so the works of God could be shown, could be manifest.” Now, there’s a couple of lessons there. One very quick lesson is, is that the blindness is not a result of sin. My brothers and sisters, when we get sick, God is not punishing us for our sins.

Now, obviously we might get sick because of our actions, and maybe our actions are also sinful and they put us into a position we might get sick, but it’s not because God is actively punishing us. So we just learned that little lesson from this morning’s gospel. Because this man was born blind, never saw a day in his life. But Jesus is the Creator. And so he finished the man’s eyes and now the man could see. But the Pharisees refused to believe it because they were the ones who were blind. They were not physically blind, they were voluntarily blind because they chose their own lifestyle instead of believing God.

And I hate to admit it, but we do the same thing. We wake up in the morning, we know what we should be doing, we know how we should be living, and we voluntarily choose our way of life instead of God’s. Now, that is the lifetime battle. It has been a battle of every human being since Adam and Eve. Even the great St. Paul said, “The things I don’t want to do those things I do the things I want to do, those things I do not do.” Even the great St. Paul wrestled with this truth. And we, my brothers and sisters, are in denial if we do not admit that we make the same choices. We choose to remain blind because we want to stay in what we believe is good for us. It doesn’t matter what God wants for us. If God wants for us the same thing we want for ourselves, then fine, we’re going to follow him.

But it’s very uncomfortable to open our eyes to God and say, “All right, lead me and I will follow.” You see, God came to show us a better way. He had given us all of the laws of the Old Testament. None of them worked. It wasn’t that the laws were bad, it’s that we choose to close our eyes. So Christ came and He gave us the church. Well, our eyes are still closed, because instead of following the church, we follow our own way. And if our way happens to agree with the church, then we’ll follow it. How is that any different than the Pharisees in this morning’s gospel? We remain blind by choice. And so my invitation, my brothers and sisters, open our eyes to God and his church.

The miracle was so that God’s works could be revealed and shown. He’s working in the church. It’s time to follow his way instead of our way. It didn’t work for the Pharisees, they got left behind. So now it’s our turn to follow Christ with our eyes wide open. And sometimes that’s going to mean giving up our way for the church, because it was the church that’s being guided by the Holy Spirit through the Holy Apostles. Christ said, “While there is still day, we have work to do.” My brothers and sisters, the time is coming when the light will fade in the world, and we have to be the light. We have to show the works of God to the people, but we can’t do it as long as our eyes are closed. So open our eyes and follow Christ.

Episode 428 – Open Your Eyes and Follow Christ

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