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Youth Ministry Resources - 4th Sunday in Lent

Year A: John 9:1-41 - Cure of the Blind Man - 4th Sunday of Lent

Once again we have a rather long passage from John filled with the promise of healing that Jesus offers today for each of us, if we only have faith. John gives us a number of "I Am" statements for Jesus, and remember that it is from the Hebrew for "I AM" that a name for God, YHWH, was derived - "I am the good shepherd; I am the true vine; I am the bread of life" etc and today "I am the light of the world." Light scatters the darkness of blindness and allows what was hidden to be seen. We know that one of the central themes of Lent is Baptism and so it is interesting that this blind beggar was sent to the water to wash away the paste made by Jesus and as a result of that immersion in water, the beggar comes to see with his eyes all that had been hidden from him.

He is able to say who has healed him and despite rather threatening questioning he is able to name a reality that is growing inside of him. A realisation that grows from Jesus as a healer, to Jesus as a prophet with power from God, to Jesus as the Son of Man it is clear that this man's spiritual blindness has also been healed. On another level, those who appeared to know everything, the Jewish leaders in the synagogue, have been shown to be people who are living in darkness. The have become rule bound and this results in their blindness to God's presence and power in Jesus. They have become politically powerful and this has blinded them to the power of God which is beyond their control. They refuse to come into the Light of the world because it will reveal the shallowness of their interpretation of the Law.

It is easy to become caught up on the peripheral, or the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law. We have many rules that define our liturgy but they are meant to bring light and life to our worship celebrations, they are not meant to confine or limit our growth and relationship with God. Even Canon Law which can appear to be dogmatic has its interpretation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "I have come that they might have life and have it to the full." Lent is a time of healing our blindness and of revealing our fears and having them replaced by the Light of the World and the hope that sustains us despite the challenges we face.

Cate Mapstone

YOUTH ANGLE: "He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed and now I can see."

Sometimes you can't see where things are headed. Things are not clear at all. And then it seems that things get even worse - more confused or darker or foggier. This is how it happened for the blind man. But Jesus saw him and wanted to help. So Jesus put mud on his eyes, and told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. And he washed and then he could see. In a moment his life changed completely. From being a beggar, an outcast, constantly dependant on others and not even knowing what colour was, to someone who could see, take care of himself and appreciate the faces, forms, colours and shapes around him. And when things aren't clear for us in life - Jesus notices us with our blindness and confusion and wants to help us too. You may think- what's this mud business - that won't help! And we will be asked to do something that probably doesn't make much sense - but if we have faith - like the blind man had faith - we will go and do it anyway- we will go and wash in the pool of Siloam and then eventually come through our blindness, with sight restored.

Manuela Macri

Liturgical Symbol for this week - The Greeting of Peace - 4th Sunday in Lent

What would we do without our hands? Artist, artisans, musicians, craftspeople, writers, depend on their hands to communicate their ideas. Many women and men earn their livelihood by the use of their hands. Doctors and nurses heal with their hands. Mothers and fathers comfort and correct their children with their hands. Lovers embrace. Friends clasp hands on greeting. The blind read with their hands and the deaf communicate through hand signs. We seal contracts with a hand shake. Through our hands we expose our talents and express our innermost feelings. The greeting of peace is a sharing of hands or an embrace. It is an ancient Christian custom formerly called the pax. It used to be offered at the close of the liturgy of the word as a sign of response to the call to unity and love which the gospel proclaims. The handshake or the greeting of peace expresses our shared unity and love. It speaks more than words can say. It expresses care, healing, support, reconciliation, unity and love.

Cate Mapstone

Youth Ministry Resources 4th Sunday in Lent
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Youth Ministry Resources 4th Sunday in Lent