Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here.   Rejoice!  We are half-way through Lent!

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • March 26, 2017 10AM
  • March 30, 2014 8:30AM

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2017, we reflected on —

  • This time of preparation of our RCIA catechumens is the renewal time for all of us.
  • First Reading from Samuel
    • Samuel has been sent by the Lord to choose a king for God’s people because this is what the people said they wanted: kings, not priests-prophets.
    • Who does God choose?  The “runt of the litter,” so to speak, the youngest and sheepherder ==> God is helping Samuel to follow the Spirit and see through God’s eyes.
  • Gospel  Reading
    • The full version almost reads like a farce, with its rhythmic use of humor in the narrative.
    • The sin described in this account is the sin of not seeing when you can.  In this case, the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders refuse to see and don’t listen to what the healed man is telling them.
  • How do we come to “see” more, to see with God’s eyes?
    • In part, we do so through mass, scripture, and communion.
    • In part, the arts can help us:
      • In Hoagland’s poem, Field Guide, we observe and share, thereby coming to know “the good parts”
      • In Boland’s poem, we observe and be self-aware, so we see who and what is in front of our very noses.

In 2014, Fr Dennis Dillon, SJ reflected —

  • The readings are about Light and Vision, the Lord who hears the cry of the poor
    • Samuel — anointing of David: the Lord sees what (and who) others do not.
    • Psalm 23 — The Shepherd of Light in the valley of dark and death
    • Ephesians — Light as the source for Vision, vision, and visibility, all of which enable the Truth to be revealed.
    • John – the blind man can see, Pool of Siloam, Jesus’ healing in this story (mud & spitball healing of vision)
  • Father Ron Rolheizer, OMI, president of the Oblate School of Theology (2005 – 2020) wrote a reflection on the gospel, incorporating what we know about people regaining vision as an adult.  What is it like?
    • J.Z. Young, an authority on brain function indicates it is actually pretty painful to begin receiving so much stimulus.  The first perceived images are a spinning mass of light and colors.  There is no recognition by sight only by touch because the eyes are untrained in “the rules of seeing.”This feels similar to the “two tries” of Jesus in the gospel.Could this be what it is like for our soul in purgatory, when we are first exposed directly to the Light and Love of God?  Is it a painful ecstasy of sorts?
    • If so, then purgatory can be re-thought of as a first stage of perfect Love and perfect Truth, rather than a place of retribution.  And that is an encouraging thought!
  • Our image today is from Patrick Comerford’s blog, his photo of our Lenten lilies — daffodils!

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