Before reciting the Angelus prayer on Sunday 22 March, Pope Francis reflected on the theme of light and the gift of faith.
“It is not enough to receive light,” said Pope Francis. We need to “become light… in order to manifest it with our whole life.”
The Light of the world
The Pope was reflecting on the liturgical readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent. St John’s Gospel recounts the episode of the man born blind to whom Jesus gives sight. “The theme of light,” said the Pope, is “at the centre” of this Sunday’s liturgy.
The miracle Jesus performs confirms His affirmation that He is “the light of the world,” said Pope Francis: He is “the light that brightens our darkness.” This applies to both the “physical level and the spiritual level,” the Pope continued. The blind person first receives the gift of physical sight, and then the spiritual gift of faith in Jesus. The wonders Jesus performs are not “spectacular gestures” said Pope Francis, they lead to faith “through a journey of inner transformation.”
The light of faith
“The Pharisees and doctors of the law refuse to acknowledge the miracle,” continued the Pope. They interrogate the healed man. But he confuses them with a simple statement of fact: “I was blind and now I see.” Gradually, he comes to realise “the identity of the one who opened his eyes,” and confesses his faith in Him. The healed man recognises Jesus “as one who comes from God.” He welcomes Jesus “as the Messiah, and prostrates himself before Him.”
Seeing life in a new light
“May we too can have this experience!”, said Pope Francis. “With the light of faith, he who was blind discovers his new identity.” He sees his life and the world around him in a new light, and is “no longer a slave to blindness and prejudice.” The blind man’s path of enlightenment “is a metaphor for the path of liberation from sin to which we are called,” said the Pope. “Sin is like a dark veil that covers our face and prevents us from clearly seeing ourselves and the world.” God’s mercy removes the “shadows and darkness,” and gives us new light, he added.
The blind man who is healed now sees “with both the eyes of the body and those of the soul,” said Pope Francis. “But it is not enough to receive light, one must become light,” added the Pope. “Each one of us is called to receive the divine light in order to manifest it with our whole life.”
“May Mary Most Holy help us to imitate the blind man of the Gospel,” concluded the Pope, “so that we can be flooded with the light of Christ, and set out with Him on the way of salvation.”
With thanks to Vatican News, where this article originally appeared.