Jesus comes into the world to dispel the darkness of doubt and unbelief. His saving activity is seen in the cure of the man born blind that foreshadows the salvation offered to all. At the beginning of the account, Jesus is asked about the man’s sinfulness. The presumption is that blindness came through sin – in this case the sins of his parents since he was “born blind.” Jesus tells them that physical “blindness” is not the result of sin. Rather it is this blindness that will allow the glory of God to shine forth in Jesus’ saving activity. Jesus tells those disciples: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” He then goes on to restore sight to the man born blind. The healing is offered, not just for the blind man who will later acknowledge His faith in the Son of Man, but also as a sign for others to see so they too might have faith.
We celebrate today the “light of the world” who is Christ Jesus. Today is known as Laetare Sunday. The term comes from the entrance antiphon: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.” (Isaiah 66:10) In the midst of our observance of Lent we are reminded, as we prepare for the Triduum and Easter, that Christ has triumphed already and we readily recognize the joy of His victory that lasts for all time. The joy is so great that we even use the bright rose-colored vestments to mark it. Lent continues though as we journey toward the Triduum, the celebration of baptism and the renewal of our own baptismal promises. The sacred time affords us the opportunity to move from darkness to light, to be healed of our sins and to celebrate worthily the life won for us in Jesus Christ.