Sunday reflection: John 9:1-41

posted at 10:01 am on March 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“Sunday Reflection” is a regular feature, looking at the specific readings used in today’s Mass in Catholic parishes around the world. The reflection only represents my own point of view, intended to help prepare myself for the Lord’s day and perhaps spark a meaningful discussion. Previous Sunday Reflections from the main page can be found here For previous Green Room entries, click here.

Today’s Gospel reading is John 9:1-41:

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam”—which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” And they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner.” He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” The man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.”

The healing miracles of Jesus always have a special resonance for me, more so when Jesus heals the blind. Most of you know that my wife Marcia is blind, and has been for almost 34 years now due to diabetes. Her eventual decision to put her trust in the Lord after this happened is her own story, and I don’t want to usurp her place in offering that narrative; she wrote about it extensively at Patheos while a columnist there. Suffice it to say, though, that after deciding to trust the Lord that she has experienced His work through her blindness, and had blessings that may never have happened otherwise. Christ has made Himself known to her through her blindness — and as a couple of commenters noted on Friday, Marcia sees more clearly than most as a result.

In this passage, we see this at work in a very clear way. The assumption at that time among the Pharisees in this narrative was that blindness and other physical handicaps were a punishment from God for sin. That belief is not altogether uncommon these days, either, in certain contexts. These ailments were seen as justice imposed on others for something, because God truly does promise justice. However, our idea of justice and God’s plan for it are not necessarily the same thing.

Jesus sets out to demonstrate that in this example. When He sees the blind man’s suffering and especially his isolation, Jesus heals him on the sabbath, which provokes the Pharisees. The disciples, also operating under the belief that his blindness was punishment for some sin of the beggar or his parents, asks him which of those were to blame. Jesus tells them that neither the man or his parents caused this condition through sin, but that the blindness will allow God’s work to become clear … to those who truly see.

The neighbors see enough to know that this is some sort of sign, and bring the beggar to the Pharisees for their consideration. Rather than acknowledge the obvious — which is that the healing must be from God, and that Jesus has made His identity plain through it — they remain stuck on the fact that the man must have been a sinner to have been blind in the first place. They ignore his testimony on that basis alone, and then ignore the testimony of his parents. When they demand that the beggar repeat his testimony, he does and tries to emphasize again the supernatural form of healing. Instead of opening their hearts, though, the Pharisees remain focused on their condemnation based on the assumption of his guilt. “You were born totally in sin, and you are trying to teach us?” they rebuke, and throw him out of the synagogue.

There is a critical contradiction in this reaction, to which the Pharisees are blind. If the blindness is from sin, then why does the blind man now see? If the healing lifts what is supposedly God’s judgment on the beggar, his family, or both, then how can Jesus not be an agent of God in some form or another? Only if the man had never actually been blind could that be the case, but the parents and the community testify to his status. Rather than recheck their assumptions, they remain steadfast in their judgment and miss the truth.

Unfortunately, the Pharisees of this passage don’t catch up to that even when given a second chance by Jesus himself. A few of them followed the beggar to watch Jesus’ reaction to the rejection of the newly-healed man. Jesus tells the beggar that He comes to heal the blind, and also will end up blinding those who supposedly see. Those Pharisees present question whether they’re included in the latter, to which Jesus responds, “Now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.” The Pharisees in their judgment claim to see as God does, and fail to recognize their own sinfulness while judging others as unworthy for theirs.

Why, though, do the Pharisees stay stuck in that paradigm of illness as punishment? Why do we continue to do so ourselves? That philosophy provides an easy way for the comfortable to dismiss the afflicted, and as such has a powerful attraction. If illness, poverty, and oppression are punishments from God, then the lack of such allows us to believe that we are ourselves better than those others, and justifies our apathy towards them, and even outright hostility. We have no impetus to work to alleviate those human conditions, but plenty of room to judge them and lecture them about their status while celebrating our own.

Jesus tells the disciples that the beggar’s blindness is an opportunity to make God’s work visible, which means that all can see it who bother to look. But if affliction can be a path for God’s mercy, so too can our comfort. That starts with a recognition that we are all “totally born in sin,” and all in need of God’s mercy, which can come through the actions of our neighbors. The Pharisees remain blind to this truth, just as they remain blind to the demonstration that their assumptions have all been in error.

We do not see as God sees, and we often have a blindness about that blindness. The other Scripture readings today remind us of that in other ways, too. In 1 Samuel, the prophet seeks out the next King of Israel as God sends Samuel to Jesse in Bethlehem. Jesse has fine-looking and strong sons, but the Lord warns Samuel not to rely on his own sight. “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” Samuel has to have Jesse send for the youngest son, who in those days would be the least likely to receive an inheritance. In Ephesians, Paul reminds the Church that Christ is the Light that “produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.”

Jesus calls us to mercy and compassion, not rejection and isolation in comfort. He is the Light of the World, so that all of us blinded by sin to our own fallen natures may see, repent, and love God with all our hearts again — and express that through love of our neighbors rather than assume to know the mind of God in rejecting neighbors. Affliction and comfort offer us the opportunities to come together in the unity of the Holy Spirit to lift all eyes to the Lord, so that all may eventually see that beatific vision of eternal life.

In our marriage, blindness has offered that opportunity for growth in charity and love. That’s because while Marcia and I met because of her need for transportation due to her physical blindness, our love has helped me open my eyes to God’s word and blessings. As readers concluded long ago, her vision far exceeded mine where it counted.


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Comment pages: 1 2

In our marriage, blindness has offered that opportunity for growth in charity and love. That’s because while Marcia and I met because of her need for transportation due to her physical blindness, our love has helped me open my eyes to God’s word and blessings. As readers concluded long ago, her vision far exceeded mine where it counted.

Awesome closing comments. Thanks for sharing something so personal. I have to ask. Was your subject a planned meditation? I wonder because this very subject of The Lord working miracles on the Sabbath came up in comments from your thread last week.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Jesus calls us to mercy and compassion, not rejection and isolation in comfort. He is the Light of the World, so that all of us blinded by sin to our own fallen natures may see, repent, and love God with all our hearts again — and express that through love of our neighbors rather than assume to know the mind of God in rejecting neighbors. Affliction and comfort offer us the opportunities to come together in the unity of the Holy Spirit to lift all eyes to the Lord, so that all may eventually see that beatific vision of eternal life.

Possibly the best explanation about this I’ve ever read.

At first I didn’t want to read Ed’s Sunday posts until I’ve gotten home from mass…so as not to read “spoilers”…even tho the readings are planned long in advance and no secret. But now I find I’m, for lack of a better word, focusing more attention to the gospel reading and homily by reading the synopsis prior to mass…and not letting my mind wander as it sometimes does.

JetBoy on March 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM

hawkdriver on March 30, 2014 at 10:16 AM

No, not really planned. I just take the readings from the Lectionary as they come. I started meditating about this passage on Friday, but didn’t start seriously working on it until yesterday.

Ed Morrissey on March 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I have been awaiting Ed’s Sunday Reflection because I believe this to be a place to express my thoughts about a true friend of the ‘blogosphere’, the late Noel Sheppard, of Newsbusters. As most of y’all are aware, Noel passed away on Friday after a brief, yet courageous battle with lung cancer. I left the following comment on the Newsbuster web site, and wanted to post it here. His passing has really hit me hard, and I know that I am not alone when I say that I will miss the man as well as his writings.

As I sit here crying at my keyboard, I am buoyed in my knowledge of Noel as a man of faith, and that he is in eternal peace with our Lord Jesus Christ. Having lost my wife to the ravages of cancer, I am happy for Noel that he did not have to endure a great deal of time suffering as that insidious disease mandates. I was shocked and saddened upon learning of his affliction, and I am downright grief stricken at his passing. Having been a long time poster on many blogging sites, Noel is the one professional blogger who actually took the time to engage with me on Twitter and other venues. I consider him a friend, and my deepest, heartfelt condolences are with his family as well as his colleagues at Newsbusters. Requiem en pace, my dearest Noel. You will be missed, yet never forgotten…

In the heat of the exchanges that we all have on these blogs, it is times such as these that we must take a step back and realize and appreciate the fact that we are all a part of the whole, and that each one of us will someday be gone from this life. I am not to timid as to say that I am grateful to you all for being here to freely exchange your thoughts and views and to allow me to participate. While I am saddened and heartbroken that Noel has left us, I am blessed in the knowledge that he is sitting at the right hand of Jesus as he encourages us all to get up with the good fight. Thanks for this space, Ed. And may God Bless the soul of our dear friend, Noel Sheppard…

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 10:23 AM

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Beautifully written, and thank you.

Ed Morrissey on March 30, 2014 at 10:24 AM

No, not really planned. I just take the readings from the Lectionary as they come. I started meditating about this passage on Friday, but didn’t start seriously working on it until yesterday.

Ed Morrissey on March 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Well, timely answers to some of the comments none the less. (Happy little accidents as Bob Ross used to say) I really hope this column continues to be a staple. Have an awesome Sunday.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Affliction and comfort offer us the opportunities to come together in the unity of the Holy Spirit to lift all eyes to the Lord, so that all may eventually see that beatific vision of eternal life.

Excellent post Ed.

workingclass artist on March 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

today’s Mass in Catholic parishes

‘Sunday Morning Talking Heads’ thread Part 2, but with a better moderator

faraway on March 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM

In the heat of the exchanges that we all have on these blogs, it is times such as these that we must take a step back and realize and appreciate the fact that we are all a part of the whole, and that each one of us will someday be gone from this life.

Well said.

JetBoy on March 30, 2014 at 10:46 AM

OT

Ed, that “Green Room” sidebar is still here, right above “Breaking from Townhall”.

The Monster on March 30, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Nuf said and well done. I share my fathers last words with you, your wife, and family as I do with all I meet.

Simply, “Be good to yourself, and be rewarded”.

MSGTAS on March 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Thanks for this space, Ed. And may God Bless the soul of our dear friend, Noel Sheppard…

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Condolences…It’s a great loss.

workingclass artist on March 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM

This passage always makes me laugh, sorry. It reads like a Monty Python skit…I see John Cleese as the chief Pharisee. “You’re not Bob, Bob was blind! GET-OUT!!!”

JFKY on March 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Very nice post. Like to see more of your comments.

celtic warrior on March 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Thanks Ed, as usual for this…

OmahaConservative on March 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

celtic warrior on March 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Thank you. I have not been as prolific as in the past, but will get more active soon enough. The recent events in our world have really got me stirred up, and I tend to get a bit snarky and gruff. I’ve managed to get the ban hammer from a couple of pretty good, conservative sites, and I’ve just been sort of laying low. I appreciate your compliment, CW…

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Nothing convinced me more that what I had “stumbled into” back in ’73 was the true interpretation of reality than the near universal replay of the “head games” Pharisees play here in order to not face the obvious Truth, that people today play in order to not deal honestly with Jesus’s claims.

Having said that, has anyone wondered what the spitting on the ground, making clay of the mud, spreading it on his eyes, and sending him to wash in the Pool of Siloam means?

Clearly, this incident is intended by John to teach us things about salvation and the recovery of our spiritual sight, right?

(Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. John 3:3)

Cleombrotus on March 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Thank you, Ed. This has set me to reflection on some unfortunate habits of mind I have fallen into.

Mason on March 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

What is with this Bible thing that has been popping up every Sunday recently? Look I don’t have anything against other people’s beliefs and I know that this website is more or less Ed’s baby, but why do we have to devote a section of it to something that wasn’t here from its incarnation. Something that doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with this site?
Its as though Ed has taken upon himself to use this blog and the readership, myself included to deliver another message that is personal to him.
Ed, if that is the case, just start another blog about this subject. Build a base of interested people who will actually go there for the intended subject.
I understand, this is your site, and I can choose not to read these things, and I will do that of course, but this definitely does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.
Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

The healing miracles of Jesus always have a special resonance for me…

For me as well. Further, I love seeing the miracles of The Old Testament again performed by Jesus in The Gospels. The 1st reading for the past Monday [2 Kings 5.1-15] comes to mind again in the Gospel Reading today from John. Readings from the book of St John are best savored for me when reminded that John’s Gospel is introduced to us in the first words with the Word becoming flesh and in the flesh was life and the life is the light of men.* Monday’s reading from Kings relates the story of an Aramean military commander named Naaman being sent to the waters by the prophet Elisha to be healed of leprosy. Naaman, being accustomed to decisive victories in battle, was seeking an instant cure with a wave of the prophet’s hand. At the logical urgings of others, Naaman went to the water, washed in it seven times, as he was instructed, and was cured. Upon being cured, he was convinced that the prophet was a man of God. This reading in 2 Kings comingles the elements of disease, water, and a prophet where the disease is used to make Naaman aware of God. We read today that the disciples and the Pharisees believed sickness and diseases to be resultant of sin. Jesus explained that the blindness “is so that the works of God may be made visible through him.” And we see again the elements of disease, water, and a prophet are used as they were for Naaman to become aware of God. With both stories, a baptism to rid a body of sin, irrespective of where the sin originated, was performed to wash the away darkness of sin to be able to become aware in order to see the light of God.

*
He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. [USCCB NAB]

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. [RSV]

ericdijon on March 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Enter “Pool of Siloam” in Google maps.

ericdijon on March 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

My understanding is that this was always a part of the ‘Green Room’ and was moved to the front page when Ed discontinued that area of the site. It is the same sort of thing as ‘Sunday Morning talking Heads’, the weekly ‘NFL Section’, etc. And you are most certainly right…You can just skip it if you wish. There are many of us who appreciate the feature as well as it’s purpose. As far as your thoughts on whether or not it enhances the site? I disagree. How’s that? Bless your heart.

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Thanks Ed Morrissey and those who comment on these Sunday Reflections. I look forward to them. I may not always comment but they make me stop and think. Not a bad thing to do :)

CoffeeLover on March 30, 2014 at 12:20 PM

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 12:19 PM

so well said. thanks bimmcorp

CoffeeLover on March 30, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Thanks Ed. Great sermon today. This is a must read.

simkeith on March 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Thanks Ed. I have been reading your work since Captain’s Quarters and find this to be the best of your work. God bless you and your dear wife.

leftnomore on March 30, 2014 at 12:34 PM

What is with this Bible thing that has been popping up every Sunday?
paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I laughed until I realized you were serious.

Please, save your intolerance for other venues.

Pless1foEngrish on March 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

What is with this Bible thing that has been popping up every Sunday?
paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Pretty much, oh 2000+ yrs or so, it’s been popping up..

hillsoftx on March 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

hillsoftx on March 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM

LOL…Yup…

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

I understand, this is your site, and I can choose not to read these things, and I will do that of course, but this definitely does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.
Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

You know what threads I never look at or comment on? Walking Dead. Don’t watch it, not interested in the show or the thread. I’m fine with you going there.

hawkdriver on March 30, 2014 at 12:56 PM

As readers concluded long ago, her vision far exceeded mine where it counted.

Your good lady sees more, and more clearly, than most.

God bless Mrs. Morrissey and her family.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 12:59 PM

but why do we have to devote a section of it to something that wasn’t here from its incarnation.

Irony, thou art sweet.

Something that doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with this site?

You made your own case, repeatedly, why it’s ok. Just ignore the thread. You’re a free person, with free will.

Its as though Ed has taken upon himself to use this blog and the readership, myself included to deliver another message that is personal to him.

You made your own case that you can ignore it. Do so, as a completely free-willed individual. Only commie-sozis want to command to others what to do.

does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.
Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Ed is not the owner of the site. Salem is, and it’s their business. Isn’t it you who can read, not read, stay or leave?

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Nothing convinced me more that what I had “stumbled into” back in ’73 was the true interpretation of reality than the near universal replay of the “head games” Pharisees play here in order to not face the obvious Truth, that people today play in order to not deal honestly with Jesus’s claims.

Having said that, has anyone wondered what the spitting on the ground, making clay of the mud, spreading it on his eyes, and sending him to wash in the Pool of Siloam means?

Clearly, this incident is intended by John to teach us things about salvation and the recovery of our spiritual sight, right?

(Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. John 3:3)

Cleombrotus on March 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I’ve always liked this particular gospel because it speaks to me on so many levels. One of the more compelling aspects is that the blind man was sent to the pool of the one who was sent, by the one who was sent from God the father. Chew on that.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The Pharisees (and the Talmud, somewhere) forbade spitting on the ground because it was considered work, because it makes mud. You had to spit on a rock if you needed to spit so as not to make mud.

Jesus was showing what he thought of ridiculous man-made laws designed to hedge God’s laws. So using mud for good on the Sabbath was a statement.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 1:35 PM

The Pharisees (and the Talmud, somewhere) forbade spitting on the ground because it was considered work, because it makes mud. You had to spit on a rock if you needed to spit so as not to make mud.

Jesus was showing what he thought of ridiculous man-made laws designed to hedge God’s laws. So using mud for good on the Sabbath was a statement.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 1:35 PM

While Jesus was alive, and for sometime after, what we now call the Talmud was an oral tradition. It wasn’t written down for sometime after Jesus’ death and ascension. Jesus never spoke against the law itself, but spoke against the “straining of gnats” and the tendancy of the pharisees and saducees to make their traditions equal to the weight of law.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Nicely done, Ed, and deeply touching. I have always believed in the miracles of healing.

John the Libertarian on March 30, 2014 at 1:43 PM

It wasn’t written down for sometime after Jesus’ death and ascension.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I believe it was written down around 500 B.C.

John the Libertarian on March 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Please continue the Sunday Reflections. They round out the blog nicely.

Thank you.

PhillyCon on March 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I believe it was written down around 500 B.C.

John the Libertarian on March 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Parts of it were written down sporadically supposedly dating back to the return of the Babylonian exile. Serious academic study of that tradition didn’t start until after the destruction of the temple in 73 AD.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 1:46 PM

While Jesus was alive, and for sometime after, what we now call the Talmud was an oral tradition. It wasn’t written down for sometime after Jesus’ death and ascension. Jesus never spoke against the law itself, but spoke against the “straining of gnats” and the tendancy of the pharisees and saducees to make their traditions equal to the weight of law. gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Not everyone returned from Babylon under Nehemiah, which is how the Babylonian Talmud got its name.

See Matthew 23.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Not everyone returned from Babylon under Nehemiah, which is how the Babylonian Talmud got its name.

See Matthew 23.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 1:54 PM

To the degree that the Talmud was written and preserved at the time, it was those additions to the law that Jesus preached against.

And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.

Matthew 15:9

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Thank you Ed. I see that your church this day offered the full reading, rather than the abridged one we get so often here in Southern California.

This Mass had some of the best readings for this year all lumped together. Here is the Responsorial — from the 23rd Psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for endless days.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I understand, this is your site, and I can choose not to read these things, and I will do that of course, but this definitely does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.
Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Think of it as a weekly reminder that you are not on the level with your Creator. There is a mediator for you waiting with open arms.

Murphy9 on March 30, 2014 at 2:09 PM

I understand, this is your site, and I can choose not to read these things, and I will do that of course, but this definitely does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.
Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Actually, it does. Ed was hired here by Michelle Malkin from his own blog, Captain’s Quarters. He is unabashedly Catholic (as is Malkin), and so that aspect of his original blog continues here under the “new” ownership of Salem Communications. I’m sure that Ed would not have come here if censorship of the type you envision were in place.

The free expression of religion, even in the workplace, is part and parcel of what we conservatives are fighting for. It is indeed germaine to the conversation. Allahpundit is the atheist — and expresses his own feelings from time to time.

Those of us who abide here often chime in with our own religious observations, and are generally given free reign. If you want to hear atheist, Orthodox, Jewish, Lutheran, and evangelical viewpoints, they will be here also, uncensored.

Another thing that you need to understand from a conservative standpoint is that the owner of the press gets to use the press as he or she sees fit. You are seeing the First Amendment in action here.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 2:16 PM

To the degree that the Talmud was written and preserved at the time, it was those additions to the law that Jesus preached against. gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 2:02 PM

He condemned error whether written down or not. And in the Sermon on the Mount He condemned minimalistic interpretations of the Law of Moses.

Dt. 28 promises blessings for obeying the law and curses for disobeying, probably the source inter alia of the Pharisees’ -and disciples’- view that the blind man (or his parents) must have been punished with his blindness for some evil deed.

Asaph was confused by this and wrote about it in Ps. 73, because the blessings and curses didn’t always seem to hold true regarding men’s behavior and their stations in the world. He finally came to understand while in the sanctuary, meaning in worship, that this world is not all there is and the blessings and curses of Dt. 28 can transcend this world and have their effect in the next.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 2:21 PM

He condemned error whether written down or not. And in the Sermon on the Mount He condemned minimalistic interpretations of the Law of Moses.

Dt. 28 promises blessings for obeying the law and curses for disobeying, probably the source inter alia of the Pharisees’ -and disciples’- view that the blind man (or his parents) must have been punished with his blindness for some evil deed.

Asaph was confused by this and wrote about it in Ps. 73, because the blessings and curses didn’t always seem to hold true regarding men’s behavior and their stations in the world. He finally came to understand while in the sanctuary, meaning in worship, that this world is not all there is and the blessings and curses of Dt. 28 can transcend this world and have their effect in the next.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled

Matthew 5:17-18

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM

bimmcorp on March 30, 2014 at 10:23 AM

I started reading Ed’s part and the comments from the end…just now saw your comment.

Sincere condolences on the loss of a friend. I will miss Noel S. as the consummate and courageous ‘cutter’ that he was. I am convinced that he’s next to Breitbart now, both having left us way too soon. The good die young.

We must continue the fight for them and what they risked for.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Ed, that “Green Room” sidebar is still here, right above “Breaking from Townhall”.

The Monster on March 30, 2014 at 10:46 AM

And so is this.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled Matthew 5:17-18 gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Jesus came to fulfill the Law, so the Law is fulfilled.

The old heaven and earth have now passed away, the New Jerusalem, the Church, the Bride, now constantly proceeds from heaven, and unbelievers are consigned to the lake of fire, Rev. 21.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Jesus calls us to mercy and compassion, not rejection and isolation in comfort. He is the Light of the World, so that all of us blinded by sin to our own fallen natures may see, repent, and love God with all our hearts again — and express that through love of our neighbors rather than assume to know the mind of God in rejecting neighbors. Affliction and comfort offer us the opportunities to come together in the unity of the Holy Spirit to lift all eyes to the Lord, so that all may eventually see that beatific vision of eternal life.

Ed, another beautiful and inspiring Sunday Reflection. Thank you so much for it.

The last sentence in this paragraph is one that, especially now as I face my own unexpected affliction, is having an impact on me and my loved ones.

Athos on March 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM

JetBoy on March 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I do the same thing. Fortunately, your post Ed is before I go to Mass here in California. This week was my second scrutiny. Another blessing.

In dismissal, I shared your thoughts. I was asked what is the impediment to us looking at the heart instead of the appearance of a person. I said that we may not love Christ enough as he loved us. We must love one another as he loved us; even our enemies. I said if we do, then we can see the light that the Pharisees could not. This reminded me of an event that happened to me 20 years ago.

I was in a group of business men and women and it was decided that we would go to a pre-school and kindergarten for blind children in our community. We went and all dressed in our business attire.

I was assigned the kindergarten class. I was greeted by a tiny five year old. I’m 6’1″ at 200+ pounds. This girl was maybe 30″ tall weighing about 40 pounds, maybe. We all have heard of “coke bottle” glasses. Her’s were about three coke bottles thick. Her glasses had to weigh about a pound.

She came up to me and introduced herself. She asked me, “would you like to see my chair?” She took me over to her table and showed me where she sits during class. Her name was on the back of the chair in regular English but also in Brail. She told me she was learning Brail and was doing well with it. The school was set up to help blind children cope with their situation and to make a smooth transition to regular school.

What impressed me was that this child was talking to me like an adult and had no concept of her limitations. In fact, she had great self-esteem. I was teary eyed for the rest of the day thinking of her.

My group raised money for her school for a few years until the group parted and went our separate ways.

Understanding the love of Christ is not only important for us to see what the Father sees in our hearts, but what we also see in others. That is the light.

Yours in Christ,
Michael.

Michael Harlin on March 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM

The Pharisees (and the Talmud, somewhere) forbade spitting on the ground because it was considered work, because it makes mud. You had to spit on a rock if you needed to spit so as not to make mud.

Jesus was showing what he thought of ridiculous man-made laws designed to hedge God’s laws. So using mud for good on the Sabbath was a statement.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Minor corrections:

It was not a prohibition against making mud. It was a prohibition against producing any salve which had curative purposes, for that was considered work. It was also part of the prohibition against spilling liquid on any ground where plants could grow, because said liquid could start plants growing. Indeed, one could not spit on a rock where moss was growing, because said spittle could cause the growth of more moss.

Furthermore, the law prohibited a physician from practicing anything but life-saving procedures on the Sabbath.

So Jesus broke the Sabbath in multiple ways — he spit on ground which could grow plants, he made a medicine (salve), and then he applied it to the eyes of a patient who was not threatened by his illness.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Jesus came to fulfill the Law, so the Law is fulfilled.

The old heaven and earth have now passed away, the New Jerusalem, the Church, the Bride, now constantly proceeds from heaven, and unbelievers are consigned to the lake of fire, Rev. 21.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

The law of which he spoke was specifically the Mosaic law. And has “heaven and earth” passed away? Well, that depends on if you think Jesus was being literal or allegorical in his teaching here. I think these particular words are pretty plain. But maybe that’s just me.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Edershiem in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah cites Shabbath 24:3, though he doesn’t quote the text, as a prohibition against spitting on dirt on the Sabbath. He also cites a prohibition against applying medicines to the outside of the eye. Jeru. Shabbath 14b.

So we’re both right? The laws of the Pharisees He held in contempt.

The point being that Jesus had no regard for such laws. If a man could pluck corn to eat it on the Sabbath, a man could treat an eye ailment on the Sabbath, without breaking the Law of Moses.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 3:22 PM

The law of which he spoke was specifically the Mosaic law. And has “heaven and earth” passed away? Well, that depends on if you think Jesus was being literal or allegorical in his teaching here. I think these particular words are pretty plain. But maybe that’s just me. gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law. Do you agree or disagree that He succeeded?

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 3:23 PM

The doctor who treated Mother Teresa

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

gryphon202, I gotta go. If Jesus fulfilled the law, the old heaven and earth are passed away and we now live in the new, a la Rev. 21. See also Rev. 1:1, and 22:10,12a,20.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Bill and Ted don’t usually get enough religious or philosophical credit. Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes.

JimmyMack on March 30, 2014 at 3:49 PM

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Although I’m certain it was unwittingly done, but this post does help illustrate the lesson in today’s reflection. Do you see it?

anuts on March 30, 2014 at 3:51 PM

gryphon202, I gotta go. If Jesus fulfilled the law, the old heaven and earth are passed away and we now live in the new, a la Rev. 21. See also Rev. 1:1, and 22:10,12a,20.

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 3:47 PM

That’s apocalyptic literature, Akzed. It’s not a history. It’s a prophecy concerning what will happen. Jesus will fulfill the law in his second coming. How the law can be considered fulfilled when so few are following it and there is so much bickering among people that call themselves Christ’s followers? I think Christendom is in for a rather rude awakening at some point.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law. Do you agree or disagree that He succeeded?

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Not in his first coming.

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Excellent post Capt. Ed..Excellent..:):)

Dire Straits on March 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Why, though, do the Pharisees stay stuck in that paradigm of illness as punishment? Why do we continue to do so ourselves? That philosophy provides an easy way for the comfortable to dismiss the afflicted, and as such has a powerful attraction.

Thanks,Ed, for pointing this out to me.

kcewa on March 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Not in his first coming. gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:52 PM

So He failed.

That’s apocalyptic literature, Akzed. It’s not a history. It’s a prophecy concerning what will happen. Jesus will fulfill the law in his second coming. How the law can be considered fulfilled when so few are following it and there is so much bickering among people that call themselves Christ’s followers? gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 3:51 PM

I don’t believe we fulfilled it, we can’t. But He did, which is why St. John saw the New Jerusalem, also called the Church, the Bride, etc in the NT, proceeding from heaven, present participle.

It is apocalyptic imagery, it is also true, and it is also, according to the passages in Rev I cited, way in the past, about 1,944 years in fact (2,014 – 70).

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Awesome post Ed. This is becoming my favorite read in Hot Air.

Pythagoras on March 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Another thing that you need to understand from a conservative standpoint is that the owner of the press gets to use the press as he or she sees fit. You are seeing the First Amendment in action here.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 2:16 PM

My collie says:

Ya’ know what’s sad, CC?

What’s that, collie?

My collie says:

What’s sad is that this actually has to be explained to some of the people that frequent this site.

CyberCipher on March 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM

I don’t believe we fulfilled it, we can’t. But He did, which is why St. John saw the New Jerusalem, also called the Church, the Bride, etc in the NT, proceeding from heaven, present participle.

It is apocalyptic imagery, it is also true, and it is also, according to the passages in Rev I cited, way in the past, about 1,944 years in fact (2,014 – 70).

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Apocalyptic literature is not, by definition, historical. And I don’t believe we fulfilled it either. Nor do I think Jesus did in his first coming. He will fulfill it in his second coming, when many will cry out to him “Lord! Lord!” and he will say, “I do not know you.” Who do you think it will be calling out to him in that manner other than Christians?

gryphon202 on March 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Suffice it to say, though, that after deciding to trust the Lord that she has experienced His work through her blindness, and had blessings that may never have happened otherwise. Christ has made Himself known to her through her blindness — and as a couple of commenters noted on Friday, Marcia sees more clearly than most as a result.

Ah, Ed…yes. Brought to mind my Hot Air namesake verse, my favorite verse in God’s Word, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I loved that verse even before I was afflicted with the weakness that was to come. God was getting me ready, as is His way. :-)

Thank you for your Sunday reflections. God bless the Morrissey family.

Grace_is_sufficient on March 30, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I’m quite happy to see this “Sunday Reflection” appear and reappear on this site, and to read most if not all of the ongoing comments associated.

Affliction — sickness, handicap — is a difficult testing process of one’s faith. It has certainly been so of mine. What I have found through faith and prayer is that suffering is an opportunity for God’s wondrous love to appear, that then becomes the loss of suffering through God’s love, helps and presence. It may not always appear by retraction of suffering’s conditions, but, it’s the opportunity presented that exists, the opportunity to allow God’s wonderful love to increase in our lives, our bodies, our hearts and souls.

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 5:18 PM

To include today’s (Catholic) readings and gospel, for anyone’s reference who may want to participate:

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Lent

First Reading:
1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13

Psalm:
Psalm 23:1-6

Second Reading:
Ephesians 5:8-14

Gospel:
John 9:1-41 or John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

“I will not live an instant that I do not live in love. Whoever loves does all things without suffering, or, suffering, loves his suffering.” — St. Augustine

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Today’s (Catholic) Mass contents and references, for any who may want to participate:

http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/inspiration.asp#30

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Thanks, Ed.

The last one of these I read had some pretty offensive comments, which put me off a good bit. Thanks to those who are respectful enough to just ignore the post if they have some strongly-held dispute with the Catholic Church or the faithful.

Adjoran on March 30, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Rather than recheck their assumptions, they remain steadfast in their judgment and miss the truth.

This can apply in so many contexts, in addition to the literal one in the scriptures.

I’m quite happy to see this “Sunday Reflection” appear and reappear on this site, and to read most if not all of the ongoing comments associated.

Ditto (and BTW Paulsur, I routinely skip the ‘Walking Dead’ posts, as well as ‘Sunday Morning talking Heads’, the weekly ‘NFL Section’, all speculations on polls and political maneuvering related to elections still in the far future, and a few other topics — that’s what Free Agency is for).

Affliction — sickness, handicap — is a difficult testing process of one’s faith. It has certainly been so of mine. What I have found through faith and prayer is that suffering is an opportunity for God’s wondrous love to appear, that then becomes the loss of suffering through God’s love, helps and presence. It may not always appear by retraction of suffering’s conditions, but, it’s the opportunity presented that exists, the opportunity to allow God’s wonderful love to increase in our lives, our bodies, our hearts and souls.

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Beautifully said.

AesopFan on March 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM

What is with this Bible thing that has been popping up every Sunday recently?…
Thank you
paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Even though I am a Bible quoter, I agree the site has not been particularly religious, except IMHO when they were stirring the pot to get folk arguing with each other, usually atheists vs believers

However this site and others have been absorbed by Salem

Additionally, Salem owns conservative blogs Townhall.com and Hotair.com…
Salem Communications Corp acquired Twitter curation site, Twitchy.com. In January 2014, the Company announced the acquisition of the acquisition of the assets of Eagle Publishing, including Regnery Publishing, HumanEvents.com, and Redstate.com, as well as sister companies Eagle Financial Publications and Eagle Wellness.[1]

You may be worried about the religion. I am wondering whether this site, which started as a focal point for Michelle Malkin’s commentary on the illegal alien invasion, will remain open to anti amnesty positions.

For example, you can check out this commentary about the anti amnesty crowd by a pro amnesty blogger. Speaking about reactions to his article at Townhall:

These comments were not atypical, I could have quoted far more. Most of them were written in response to the first article I wrote in the series which merely urged compassion for immigrants in general, not amnesty for illegal aliens. What’s also fascinating is that, as of the time of this writing, almost none of these comments were rebutted by other participants. The vast, vast majority of these comments were left unchallenged.

Now, lest you think that this is some bizarre enclave of neo-Nazi commentary, it is not. Townhall.com is a mainstream conservative site run by my friends at Salem Communications. It’s not a race baiting group, nor a conspiracy group. But what is clear is that in any open forum, this type of commenter comes to the surface very quickly.

The Catholic church is official anti borders. As well are some ‘mainstream conservative’ religious groups. So far, anti amnesty comments are not banned.

You noticed change. I also. Stick around in the threads you still like. It is worth staying in to see how the sea changes. I appreciate your honest comments.

And I loved Ed’s commentary also

entagor on March 30, 2014 at 6:03 PM

The Catholic church is official anti borders. As well are some ‘mainstream conservative’ religious groups.

entagor on March 30, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Yet that’s not specifically found in Christian Scripture. What’s used awkwardly, instead, to justify the USA as “open borders” is, “love your neighbor…” and “welcome the stranger” in the Christian context, awkwardly I repeat, of the meaning of charity (“agape love”).

It’s true, right, accurate, all, that charity is love and vice-versa, that we are to “love our neighbor as (ourselves)” and to provide for strangers in the hospitality sense.

BUT none of that — in the context of Christianity, love, charity — MEANS we are to justify sin.

Lying, cheating, stealing and more, these are sins. It’s not an act of love, of charity, to “welcome” sin, to say to a neighbor, “OK, I welcome your sin,” or to encourage them to do so. We are asked to forgive the sinner but not to love the sin, to put it another way. We can “love” a neighbor by saying “no” to their sinful deeds, by not joining in, encouraging or mirroring their wrong deeds, wrong beliefs, etc.

And Catholicism DOES ask that the faithful observe and obey the laws of the land.

I think many people today get carried away by a need for group popularity, media fawning and attention, a sort of need-for-celebrity-personna, by using Christ’s cautions and advice as “refitted” socio-political reworks, and I think that’s patently, inherently wrong.

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 6:32 PM

…For example, you can check out this commentary about the anti amnesty crowd by a pro amnesty blogger…

entagor on March 30, 2014 at 6:03 PM

And many a Liberal today (progressives in both parties and in all denominations) ASSUME, wrongfully, in my view, that “pro borders” and “anti illegal immigration” is somehow a hateful position, a position that implies “hate for human beings,” so to speak, or, “hate for specific kinds of human beings.”

That’s represented in the current, other post on this site about Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws: a few Progressive-Liberal commenters there continue to insist on permissive violaton of our laws if not tossing of them entirely because they assume, wrongly, that these laws prevent specific races, or ethnicities, from doing what they will.

These are wrong assumptions. I do believe they are challenges as wrong assumptions to the actual credibility of Scripture itself, to bring this issue back to this post’s message: “it can be rewritten” or worse, “Christ blasphemes.” Our laws are not Scripture, I realize that, but the morality involved is shared: one either respects it’s integrity, believes Christ and His requests of us (“believe, obey, do, do not…”), or, one thinks the messaging is just some movable guideline that can be replaced, ignored or neglected with need.

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Thanks, Ed, for this each week. God bless all here.

Elisa on March 30, 2014 at 6:46 PM

The doctor who treated Mother Teresa

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/03/30/sunday-reflection-john-91-41/#comments

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

My sister sent me this last week and I didn’t want the video to end. I loved it and I laughed and laughed.

I clicked your link and listened to it for a second time. Thanks.

I highly recommend you all click the link. Interesting and funny.

Elisa on March 30, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The doctor who treated Mother Teresa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD9RI2Bm69U&feature=youtu.be

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

My sister sent me this last week and I didn’t want the video to end. I loved it and I laughed and laughed.

I clicked your link and listened to it for a second time. Thanks.

I highly recommend you all click the link. Interesting and funny.

Elisa on March 30, 2014 at 6:48 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD9RI2Bm69U&feature=youtu.be

Corrected the link. Sorry.

Elisa on March 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM

So much going on in this week’s Gospel reading. We had a great discussion about it in RCIA today.

Notice that even the blind-from-birth man, being miraculously cured, requires an evolution over time in how he “sees” Jesus. He tells community members that “the man called Jesus” gave him sight; then tells the Pharisees that he is a “prophet;” he later concludes that his curer must be from God; then believes Jesus is the Messiah only after Jesus tells him it’s true.

I’m also struck that the blind man’s parents, upon learning of the miracle, are still reluctant to recognize who and what Jesus is, for fear of losing their status in the synagogue. How often are we similarly cowed into silence about our faith?

How about some of the Pharisees’ initial reaction to the miracle — complaining that it had occurred on the Sabbath? A good reminder that adherence to the rules for the rules’ sake can look ridiculous in the face of what faith is supposed to be about.

And notice that Jesus doesn’t come before the Pharisees and challenge their worldview; he works with “the least of these,” a blind beggar, and that has the same effect of shaking up the order of things, on up to the pillars of power.

FishingwFredo on March 30, 2014 at 7:22 PM

FishingwFredo on March 30, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Ah. Finally. Someone reads and thinks about the text.

Thank you.

Cleombrotus on March 30, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Bookmarked. But there is this also:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

I understand, this is your site, and I can choose not to read these things, and I will do that of course, but this definitely does not enhance this site or the reason why it was originally brought into being.

Thank you

paulsur on March 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

.
Thanks for your honesty … that’s better than silent descent.
.
At least you don’t sound as if you’re going to renounce and forsake Hotair, like Byron did.

listens2glenn on March 30, 2014 at 9:11 PM

And Catholicism DOES ask that the faithful observe and obey the laws of the land.

Lourdes on March 30, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Yes, but there is this:

1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”

I believe the current immigration laws to fall into that class. My family were amongst those targeted for exclusion under a similar set of immigration laws, and we used what would today be considered “illegal means” to immigrate. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “paper son” you’d know what I mean.

Indeed, many who professed themselves to be good Christians — good Catholics — agreed wholeheartedly with the Chinese Exclusion Acts. They were in no mood to treat the alien among them as they would treat themselves — in spite of the fact that they had arrived on these shores contemporaneously with us.

They are here, they are having children, and those children will vote. Those conservatives who profess to be Christian but would treat the aliens among them badly are building a generation of people who will vote liberal — if only in spite.

That’s why a generation of Japanese Americans voted Republican after they came out of the camps — they understood who had done what was done with them, and they wanted nothing more to do with that. Their children are a different story — the anti-immigration conservatives have inherited the “No Japs” mentality the liberals had during WWII, and it’s recognized as such. My nieces and nephews are Democrats as a result, while in terms of culture, they are naturally conservative. But they are sensitive to history, and the entire rest of our lecture on fiscal responsibility and such gets lost in the mantra that if you had your way back in the day, their parents would not be here.

unclesmrgol on March 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

The doctor who treated Mother Teresa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD9RI2Bm69U&feature=youtu.be

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

My sister sent me this last week and I didn’t want the video to end. I loved it and I laughed and laughed.

I clicked your link and listened to it for a second time. Thanks.

I highly recommend you all click the link. Interesting and funny.

Elisa on March 30, 2014 at 6:48 PM

.
WOW . . . . . . . . fantastic video ! … God bless Dr George Lombardi.
.
.
On the other hand . . . . . God managed to “sneak” into the “World Science Festival” . . . somehow, that don’t seem right . . . : )

listens2glenn on March 30, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Don Francisco put this scripture psassage into a song, sung in the “first person” point of view.
.
Writing Bible stories into “dramatic” songs, sung in the ‘first person’, is something Don Francisco did a LOT of.

listens2glenn on March 30, 2014 at 10:02 PM

How often did the blind beggar think of Jesus? Every time he looked about. I wonder what he went on to do.

I had a miraculous healing also some years ago (the article beginning with “Unmasked”: http://www.charismaticsandiego.com/testimonies.htm

theCork on March 30, 2014 at 10:16 PM

Very thoughtful article, Ed. Thanks.

theCork on March 30, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Love me some white Jesus.

mazer9 on March 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

mazer9 on March 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

That was totally unnecessary. And, pathetic.

kingsjester on March 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Love me some white Jesus.

mazer9 on March 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

.
I guess that means you and the “triple K” have something in common.
.
But you’re both wrong.

listens2glenn on March 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM

It is apocalyptic imagery, it is also true, and it is also, according to the passages in Rev I cited, way in the past, about 1,944 years in fact (2,014 – 70).

Akzed on March 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

So, I’m not alone here! On a couple levels even.

questionmark on March 30, 2014 at 11:09 PM

mazer9 on March 30, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Looks like there is someone else who needs to have his eyes opened.

SubmarineDoc on March 31, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Ed,

Thank you for your article.

In response to Cleombrotus on March 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Having said that, has anyone wondered what the spitting on the ground, making clay of the mud, spreading it on his eyes, and sending him to wash in the Pool of Siloam means?

The Orthodox tradition, (as I understand it) on this was that not only was this man born blind, but he was born without eyes at all. The clay was reminiscent of the first creation of Adam – that Christ created the eyes out of the clay. Christ reveals his deity by restoring creation in the same manner he had created it in the Garden. (From St Irenaeus)

The Pool of Siloam was on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a good distance from the temple. So this blind man made his way across the city, eyes full of mud, in faithful expectation of healing. Siloam, translated, Sent, symbolizes Christ, the One sent by the Father.

The early church read this passage, along with Ch 3 & 5 of John on the Saturday night of Easter, when Christian catechumens were baptized. It reiterates the paschal themes of washing, illumination, healing, faith, conversion, and salvation. (Orthodox Study Bible pp 231)

While this explanation does not rise to the level of dogma, I often reflect how blown away the neighbors and parents and those who knew this man as blind would be to find him with eyes and seeing! No wonder they thought it just couldn’t be him!

Meanwhile the Pharisees sink further into darkness.

skeeter on March 31, 2014 at 2:09 AM

Here’s a subtle part of the story that most people miss:

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes

Haven’t any of you wondered why Jesus did this? Surely he could have cured the man’s blindness without the clay, right? Now look at what irritated the Pharisees:

He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.”

You see, the Pharisees added many stipulations to the law. One of them was that you are allowed to spit on a rock on the sabbath, because all that makes is a wet rock.

But it was against their law to spit on dirt to make clay, because that made something useful, which made the action fall into the category “work”, forbidden on the sabbath.

So Jesus not only healed the man on the Sabbath, which angered the Pharisees, he also purposely disobeyed the man-made addition to the law by making clay, which aggravated the Pharisees all the more.

The Rogue Tomato on March 31, 2014 at 4:13 AM

The seminarian in our parish is blind. He has retinitis pigmentosum and has had it almost from birth. He hasn’t let it stop him at all. He’s a train buff, gets around very well with his cane and says when he’s ordained a priest, he will have to have someone drive him, but otherwise he will not have any problems. He reads braille and has apps on his iphone to help him. He once said that of course he’d like to be able to see, but he isn’t going to weep and wail because he can’t. He just trusts in God and lives his life.

Ellen on March 31, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Thanks for sharing!

And I want to add my name to those that look forward to this
column each week.

And to those who would like to dictate or disparage, know that you
are in the minority. The majority are coming to their senses and
will soon no longer let the likes of you dictate what we think,
how we feel, what we do, and what our country will become.

Amjean on March 31, 2014 at 7:30 AM

blindness and other physical handicaps were a punishment from God for sin. That belief is not altogether uncommon these days

True enough Ed, but what bothers me most is that far too many handicaps in this utilitarian Godless world, classifies a person as no longer having sufficient dignity and value,to be considered worth caring for–an inconvenient burden (like the unborn) to Caesar and his cheering worshippers.

Don L on March 31, 2014 at 7:37 AM

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