Reflection for the Morning Prayer

Lent 4 ; Year A
John 9:1-41

Julian Whittney

As we prayed earlier:

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;

You are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

Parthenogeneosis: Virgin birth.

I didn’t know until yesterday that Komodo dragons can give birth without having sexual intercourse. Thanks to the 英検準 1 = pre-1 English Test that lizards can be asexual. One of my students is now taking that test. Somehow, I think through the power of the Holy Spirit, that led us onto a YouTube page of ‘Aladdin’.

“I can show you the world,

Shing, shimmering, splendid,

Tell me princess,

Now when did you last let your heart decide?

I can open your eyes,

Take you wonder by wonder,

Over sideways and under a magic carpet ride,

A whole new world…”♫

やみ て

闇があるから 照らすという ことがある

There is no darkness without light

いん よう yin   yan jihad

陰陽 진양 الجهاد The Dark Side of the Force

(for Star Wars fans 😄)

I can’t speak for every culture and community but in all of the countries I have visited and all of the people, of different nationalities , I have met; ‘dark’ is thought to be bad, even evil, and light is considered good & virtuous.

‘in-you’ is the Japanese equivalent of the Korean ‘yin-yan’. My interpretation of this is that there is good and the bad within each and every one of us.

In Islam, ‘jihad’ is the inner war, fighting against the bad within yourself. Political extremists and terrorists have abused the term to justify a ‘Holy War’ in the same way the Crusaders used the Bible to justify the rape and pillage of Jerusalem.

I don’t know what part of the Old Testament the Pharisees used to justify their interrogation of the blind man and his parents but as Shakespeare said, “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” For example “An eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24) – vengeance versus “turn the other cheek” (Lamentations 3:30) (Luke 6:29) (Matthew 5:39)- forgiveness.

I am happy that the Old Testament, Lamentations, also has a focus on forgiveness. Those of you who know my reflections know that I struggle with the Old Testament as it seems to be a history list of the the sinners and those who have sinned against God who is very wrathful, angry, and states “…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin…”(Exodus 20:5)

Even Jesus’ disciples question him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Perhaps they were thinking along the lines of ‘original sin’; Adam and Eve cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating an apple. This recurs. For example; “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) so the act of sexual intercourse, even though it is to propagate God’s children is sinful. Paul (5:12) states, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people.”

According to Luke (15:10), Jesus said; “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

So sinners are more loved than the righteous?

I don’t think so, that is my opinion.

Jesus, Our Lord, the Son of Man & The Son of God, opened the eyes of the blind man so that he can see a whole new world, yet he concludes; “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”

With no disrespect, Jesus was a joker❣️ He turns our world, and our understanding of it, upside down.

That is his way, and so we must follow💚 

Merciful Lord,

you know our struggle to serve you:

when sin spoils our lives

and overshadows our hearts,

come to our aid

and turn us back to you again;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.