We all face the same struggle: to do what is right despite the constant temptation of sin. Providing context for the gospel account of the healing of the man born blind, Fr. Tony Cutcher examines the interplay between light and darkness, between vision and blindness in each of our lives. He says: "The darkness can creep back into our lives. And we are called to shed the light of Christ into those dark spaces, to see them, name them, and then be forgiven of them."
Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. What does this mean for those of us who walk in the darkness of sin, who suffer from spiritual blindness? Do we let Christ's light illuminate the way we make judgments about others? Fr. Joseph Kindel reflects on all this, describing spiritual sight as the "ability to see with God's light, God's eyes."
Reflecting on the gospel account of the healing of the man born blind, Fr. Deepak D'Souza touches on spiritual blindness, on trusting in God even when we can't see Him. He says: "The Lord is there always...so let us open our eyes and look at Him. I am sure even in pain, suffering, humiliation, insults, we will be able to see Him and His blessings."
Relating a near-death experience to the Sunday reading, Deacon Bob Gutendorf speaks of the importance of examining our lives daily and remembering God's mercy in the midst of our sin. He says: "The brevity of our lives should provoke each one of us to live each moment with intention and purpose. Let's bear fruit by taking advantage of the graces available to us through the sacraments, to fight for our souls and for every soul, to nurture virtue beyond just the bear minimum..."
Scrutiny involves "critical observation or examination" of something. Fr. Tony Cutcher explains the Church's use of scrutiny in understanding Scripture, in forming adult converts to the Faith (through RCIA), and in living out the gospel. He says: "Our response to an encounter with Christ should be to spread the news...We are called to be witnesses because we encounter the Christ every day of our lives and, physically, here in the Eucharist every week."
"Lent gives us that time to look beyond the physical," says Fr. Tony Cutcher, reflecting on the implications of the Transfiguration of Christ. He continues: "We still have six weeks to transfigure our souls so that when we do get to the celebration of Easter, we — like the disciples — will want to stay in that wonderful light of Christ."
Meditating on the Transfiguration of Jesus, Fr. Deepak D'Souza reflects on God's ability to transfigure each of us in the midst of pain and suffering. He says: "The Lord speaks to us much more strongly, much more vividly whenever we are in difficulty...When we don't know how to proceed, when we are totally confused, He is with us all the more."
"Life comes from loving," says Fr. Frank Ruff when sharing about the work of Unbound Ministries. Addressing a fundamental question in our culture today — that of identity — Fr. Frank says: "Our primary identity is that we (you and I) are disciples of Jesus. We have to be people who know how to think like Jesus, how to respond like Jesus, how to speak like Jesus."
On Ash Wednesday, Fr. Tony Cutcher discusses the purpose of making Lenten sacrifices such as prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. He says: "We're called to repent, to change our direction, to look at the way we are moving through life and to figure out if this is the right way to go. Every year during Lent, for 40 days, we get to make a correction in the way our spiritual life is going, to get it back on track with what God wants for us."
At the start of Lent, Fr. Deepak D'Souza talks about the practical and spiritual benefits of fasting. He says: "That physical craving for food can help us to have that craving for the divine, so we can meditate better, pray better. And our prayer, with that sacrifice, will become much more meaningful."