SUNDAY OF THE BLIND MAN
6th Sunday after Easter
by V. Rev. Archimandrite Panteleimon P. Lampadarios
Patriarchal Vicar of Alexandria
Six months before the sacrifice on the Cross, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on the day of the feast of the Tents, went to Jerusalem, although He knew that the leaders of the Jews were seeking to put Him to death, and He preached in the yard of the Temple. As He left the Temple, He saw a blind man sitting in a corner begging those who were passing by for some help. The Disciples ask their Teacher, ‘Lord, who sinned, he or his parents, so that he was born blind’? Christ, who knows the hearts of men answered with compassion and love. ‘Neither he sinned, nor his parents. He was born blind for God’s work to be manifested’.
Amongst the Jews there is a strong belief, that the sins of parents make their children suffer. This belief originates from the misunderstanding of God’s commandment, Who order Israel to avoid making idols, nor to worship them. In other words God foretold the people of Israel not to fall into idol worship. In case that they will disobey His commandment and will renegade from the true faith in the One God, then the punishment of their sin will be transferred on their children up to the third and fourth generation. This specific law man generalised for all sins. This the belief which the Apostles have at this moment.
The Mosaic Law, concerning personal sins, clearly states, that each individual is responsible for his sins; because neither the parents will be punished for the personal sins of their children, and likewise, nor the children for the personal sins of their parents. Each and everyone will give account for his deeds.
The man who was blind from birth was born in this condition, because it was God’s Will and not because God wanted to punish his parents. Jesus assures this saying, “Neither he sinned, nor his parents’.
At this point we must clear the follow. Today, many new born babies are born defective and misshapen, because of the sinful way of life of their parents. When parents are enslaved to alcohol and drugs; when a mother is under dangerous and unhealthy pills, or she takes medicine to abort the embryo, her own flesh and blood, in such cases the sins of the parents are charged on the children. Here, the criminal act is performed by the parents, and it is not an act of divine punishment from God.
The Disciples questioned with a pure heart, because many times in the pass they have heard their Teacher saying to the paralytic, that their sickness was caused because of their sins. This man was not only born blind, but was born without any eyes. Christ does not only gives him his sight, but creates from the mud new eyes. Here relies the great miracle! Who ever heard of such cure? Which doctor was able to give eyes to a man, who was born without eyes? Which miracle can be compare to this?
Here proves the fact, that Jesus is the same God, Who at the beginning of creation took ground of the earth and made man, and by breathing in his face, made man “a living soul”. The same God here makes mud and creates new eyes, granting to the man who was born blind, his sight, which he was deprived for so many years.
Jesus Christ, the Word and Son of God, is the Light of the world. It is He, who enlightens and sanctifies our life, guiding us to do what is always right. Without Christ man lives in the darkness of ignorance. Without Christ, no matter what education one might have, no matter what riches and glory, is always under the power of sin, which darkens his whole existence.
Sin and sinful passions blind the soul’s spiritual eyes. A sinner, although has eyes and sees the daily light, remains blind and cannot see the spiritual light of the divine revelations. He who is enslaved to sinful passions, becomes a slave to sin. He deprives from himself the true freedom, which God alone offers.
To partake in the divine Gifts of God, one must draw away from the reasons which create spiritual blindness, that is sin. As long as one insists on his sinful desires, he hinders the divine enlightenment of God to enter within the temple of our soul.
We can compare sin to a dark cloud, which overshadows the face of the earth and does not allowed the radiance of the sun to pass through to enlighten and give life to the earth. Likewise, sin becomes the obstacle and blocks the divine radiance of God’s Grace to reach man’s soul. Thus sin deprives man from eternal life.
My beloved friends,
The man who was born blind in today’s Gospel, met Christ and confessed Him as being the True God. Let us follow his example; let us approach Christ and ask Him to cure our spiritual blindness. Let us ask Him, to grant us the divine Light, so that we can see the virtuous path on which we must walk on. Let us ask Him, to lift up the heavy darkness of our sinful passions, which sinks us into a unsearchable darkness. The Lord said, if the darkness which is in you is dark, how much dark is the darkness? Let us ask Him to grant us His mercy, so that through the interventions of most blessed Lady and Ever Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, and all the Saints to achieve our salvation in Christ. Amen.