Respond Openly (Fourth Lent)

They marched the man to the Pharisees. This day when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness was the Sabbath. The Pharisees grilled him again on how he had come to see. He said, “He put clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see”.
(John 9: 13 – 15)

When my niece was about 12 years old, she brought some friends with her to visit her grandmother. While there, she showed them the pictures of her uncles on my mother’s dresser, commenting on each of them. “That’s my Uncle Dominic,” she said, pointing to my picture. “He’s the ugly one so he had to become a priest”.

My mother overheard her granddaughter and was concerned. So she sat her down away from her friends and quietly talked to her. I asked my mum what she said, and her response, remarkable in its honesty, was “Now, honey, you can’t talk about your uncle like that. Even if it is true, he is still my son”.

Oh, well! I guess now I know the origin and the reason for my vocation. Actually, it’s a good thing that it is not by our appearances that God calls us. And it is also reassuring that our appearances in no way reflects the sins and faults of our forbearers. God does not limit us in that way. Instead, we stand on our own, warts and wrinkles, strengths and weaknesses, and are expected to respond to God openly, as Saint Paul says, for all to see. Lent gives us the opportunity to step into the light and get it right.

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