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4th Sunday Lent Yr A – Eyes Wide Open

March 29, 2011

Download: 4th Sunday Lent Yr A

  1. Reflection Questions Remember Samuel as a young boy, woken in the middle of the night by the voice of God (1Sam 3:4). Now trained in the discipline of listening and doing what God asks Samuel now faces an incredible challenge: God is asking him to find and anoint a new King (while King Saul is currently still alive!) This would be treason. Consider the emotions and struggles of Samuel? What struggle can you identify with? How might God be inviting you to ‘fill your horn with oil, and be on your way?
  2. Some translations emphasize that David was a young boy, with a fresh and clear appearance. He is not big, has no military training or obvious talent for battle. To the human ‘eye’ and ‘outward appearance’ this is not a wise choice for a King and future military leader. But this public calling and anointing, this ‘baptism’ of David changes everything. No longer would he suffer psychologically from his fathers ‘smallest’ ‘weakest’ viewpoint. When the Lord looks into your heart what does he ‘see’?
  3. This text from St Paul to the Ephesians is thought to be part of an ancient baptismal liturgy: baptism calls us to bring our lives into the ‘light’. As Easter approaches, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is one practice that leads us to bring our struggles into the light of Jesus for help and guidance. Awake from sleep and death! Ponder for a few minutes what you would like to bring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent?
  4. Gospel stories from John are used to encourage baptism candidates on the final journey to Easter. Today’s story is in the context of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles involving water and light. Water from the pool of Siloam was taken into the temple, thrown upon the Altar, which then ran out from the temple into the ‘world’. It symbolised God’s Temple and People called to be like Water for the world. Also large candles with wicks made from the Priest’s vestments lit up the Temple and courtyard symbolising God’s Temple and People called to be like Light for the world. Can you see in the text how Jesus in John’s Gospel uses and yet replaces these symbols? What is John trying to show us?
  5. The early Christian Church used the reality of being ‘blind’ and receiving ‘sight’ as an image of the journey to Baptism. Baptism was even called a ceremony of ‘enlightenment’. From blind ‘darkness’ to seeing ‘light’ is possibly the greatest transformation that can take place for a person. Seeing becomes symbolic of knowing ‘truth’. Truth is gradually clearer for the blind man (baptismal candidate) regarding Jesus’ identity. Unstated is the reality that belief in Jesus will see the man now rejected from the synagogue and community. Can you see your journey in the blind man?
  6. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?

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