Let’s face it. We live in a world that judges pretty much everything by what we see. We make assumptions or draw conclusions based on what we witness or by what is right in front of us. Even in our first reading this weekend, Samuel, the prophet who was to anoint the next king, thought he had it figured out when one of Jesse’s sons, Eliab, stood before him and he observed his “appearance” and “lofty stature”. Kind of amusing that God was like, “Uh, nope. I actually chose that little guy over there.”
Another unlikely man chosen by God is the man in our Gospel reading this weekend who was born blind but was healed by Jesus, now able to see. This Gospel is a long one and seemingly repetitive. Really? How many times are they going to ask him what happened, why it happened, and who is the one who did this to him? (Reminds us of a typical day with our 4-year old.) His friends, strangers, the pharisees, and even his parents questioned him. And not only did his parents question what happened to him, they basically said “you’re on your own” when others demanded answers from them. They were too afraid to back him up for fear of what would happen to them if they confessed Jesus was the Messiah.
Wow. Let’s break this down for a minute. Guy can’t see his entire life. Guy has miraculous healing and can now see for the first time! Guy gets questioned over and over, almost becoming frustrated saying to those who questioned, “I have told you already”. His story might seem like a bit of a downer…this amazing thing just happened to him but no one will believe him! They just couldn’t wrap their minds around it.
The truly awesome part about this story is what we can learn about ourselves and about evangelization through this man’s experience. In our own lives, our transformation through Christ should be so outward, so evident, so joyfully radical that those around us will see it and ask: What happened to you? Why did this happen? Who did this to you? Imagine the opportunities we would have to share Christ with others if our own daily transformation could be seen in such a way!