A Contemplation on The Man Born Blind: The Fourth Sunday of Lent - Year A
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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From a talk given at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Omaha, NELent Parish Mission: March, 2011At the beginning of this gospel, the disciples see a man blind from birth and they ask, "Who sinned, this man or his parents?"The belief of that time was that: God rewards good and punishes evil. If you are rich, that was a reward. If you were poor, your life was a punishment that was either blamed on you, your parents, or your ancestors. In many ways, it was a belief that resulted in the rejection of the poor and marginalized. Their difficulties were seen as a result of their being sinners.The Prophet Jeremiah said something like: the parents have eaten sour grapes and their children's teeth are set on edge. In other words, the actions of the parents fall on the children. It was deep in that tradition, and it might be somewhat true in ours today.We all hand down things to our kids, good and bad. How many of us have been completely humiliated by our 3 year old repeating something we said -- in a really public setting? We had no idea they were listening.In this Gospel, Jesus goes against the traditions of his day. The beginning of the story of the Man Born Blind challenges this view of inherited evil: Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.