Today, 5 June 2016, the Orthodox Christians are on the 6th Sunday after Easter. The Church scheduled to read today at the Divine Liturgy, the Bible text of John 9:1-38 on the healing of the man born blind.
On this occasion, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a sermon in the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence dedicated to Saint Great Martyr George. His Beatitude underlined the fact that the blind man healed confessed the divinity of Christ while some others who could see with their own eyes suffered from spiritual blindness, namely the Pharisees who envied Jesus and did not believe that He is the Son of God who had come into the world to save the world. The Gospel text of the day shows us the healing and life giving power of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Spiritual blindness is harder than physical blindness
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel emphasised the fact that the spiritual blindness is harder than physical blindness. The Gospel text on the Sunday of the Blind Man makes a striking contrast between God’s merciful love, shown on one hand when Jesus Christ was healing a man born blind and making him see, and on the other hand the dark love of the Pharisees who did not love Jesus at the time, when He was healing sick people, because He attracted large crows around.
“The purpose of the Gospel text of the day is to show that sometimes it is easier for those born blind to confess Jesus Christ, the Son of God, than those who although able to see with their physical eyes, do not believe in Him. In other words, the Gospel shows us that the lack of faith or spiritual blindness is a more serious disease than the physical blindness and that it is easier to heal the physical blindness than the spiritual blindness of the lack of faith. The blind man of the Gospel of the day did not ask anybody to heal him. He was only noticed by Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and by His disciples who asked Jesus if the man was blind because he or his parents sinned. And Jesus Christ, our Saviour, answered that neither he nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind to show the work of God in him”, His Beatitude also said.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world
As for the disciples’ question who sinned, he or his parents, because he was born blind, addressed to Jesus Christ, our Saviour, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has shown that there are also people who suffer not for their own sins or for those of their parents, but to show the work of God in them.
“How could someone sin before being born? Certainly, at first sight, the question has no sense, but the Saviour said that neither he nor his parents sinned, to repudiate the false faith of some of the Judeans borrowed from the pagans, namely that sometimes the soul who sinned a lot, once out of the body enters into another human or child who is being born and spends one more life on earth to clean or expiate his/her sins through sufferance. At the same time, Jesus says that according to the will of God, there are people who suffer not for their own sins or for their parents’, but to show the work of God in them.
What work? It is the work for healing and changing or renewing human’s life. Indeed, the work of God was shown in the healing of this blind man, namely that Jesus Christ, Son of God, is the Creator of the world, the One who created man at the beginning of the world together with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:26-27), and He is the “light of the world” too (John 8:12), namely the ultimate sense of life, of the existence of the universe and of humankind, that He is the One who gives physical sight and spiritual sight called faith. He is the source of the light seen with the physical eyes and of the light seen only with the spiritual eyes of the faith”.
The blind man becomes obedient missionary and faithful of Jesus Christ, the Patriarch of Romania has also explained.
“Today’s Gospel text shows us how a man born blind has become someone who sees and a faithful confessor of Christ, while some of the educated Pharisees who could see with their physical eyes remained in their spiritual blindness refusing to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Therefore, we see that God can turn a disabled person into a teacher, a missionary, a man sent by Him in the world. This is why we confess together with the blind man healed that Jesus is the Son of God, Who became man out of love for humans and for their salvation, and enlightened by the grace of Jesus, we pray to Him, the One glorified together with the Father and the Holy Spirit!”, said His Beatitude in the end.