I believe

Fourth Sunday of Lent Year A

“I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind”. This weeks Gospel passage concludes with these words. Here, Jesus seems to be speaking in highly paradoxical language, affirming that the reason why God became human is so that all those who see become blind and all those who are blind begin to see. Should we take this speech literally? Well, in one sense, we can. It is true that God can literally heal the blind – as in fact happens to the “blind man” in this story. 

This week’s Gospel begins with a man who was blind from birth who is eventually healed by Jesus. Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath day; something which causes the Pharisees to rebel against Jesus and to tell him off. Thus, perhaps the first point to note here is the reaction that Jesus shows toward pain and sickness. Jesus didn’t care much about the pedantic laws of the Jews. He did not allow their laws to stop Him from showing love! The Jews believed that on the Sabbath day, no works should be done, only rest. The fact that Jesus violated this shows us that, for Jesus, the primary law, the most important one of all, was love. Nothing should stop us from enacting love – not even orders from authority figures! This is why someone like Franz Jägerstätter, a German who is now beatified, rejected Hitler’s order to become a soldier. Franz broke the law because he was faithful to the law of love – he went against the state and his own country because he knew that to love one another was the most important thing of all. Are we ready to do this? Do we understand how important it is to love one another? This is something that the Pharisees did not understand. 

After the blind speaks about what Jesus did to him and, in doing so, challenges the Pharisees, the Pharisees harass the blind man, calling him a sinner from birth and eventually even throwing him our of their circle. The Pharisees couldn’t understand how the Son of God would defy the law of keeping the Sabbath day free from work.

After all this, finding the blind man alone, Jesus approaches him and asks, “do you believe in the Son of Man?”. Jesus asks this question to all of us too. Do we believe in Jesus’ glory and divinity? The blind man had experienced Jesus’ grace and love first-hand. In fact, his humble reply was, “Lord, I believe”. But the Pharisees’ reaction was different. Although the Pharisees had seen and witnessed Jesus too, but they still refused to believe in Jesus. Who are we being like? Are we allowing Jesus to help us experience His love and healing? Or are we spiritually blind, like the Pharisees were? 

Finally, let us remember that our flaws, imperfections and mistakes are not invincible. We should not be afraid of them or let them bring us down. This is because, often, God uses our weaknesses to perfect us. It is through our weaknesses that we grow! The blind man began to spiritually see because of his physical blindness. Let us try, these remaining weeks of Lent, to offer our imperfection to the Lord. We may rest assured that he will heal us too, at the right time, at the right pace, and with a tremendous deal of love.

A reading from the Gospel of John (John 9:1–41)

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.”

They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”. “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”. He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing”. To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”. “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”. Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Take a moment to reflect upon those imperfection which you feel are impeding you in your spiritual and communal life with others? Try to offer them to Jesus and to pray that he may guide you and give you the grace that you need so that you may be able to rely upon him more, and less on yourself.
  4. We may have different spiritual blind spots. The Pharisees couldn’t recognise Jesus as the son of God. But we may also be blind in other ways; for example, by failing to realise that love should be extended to all people. Take some time to reflect upon what it means to really love in a “Christ-like” way. Remember Franz Jägerstätter and his refusal to obey Hitler out of love for other people. Franz ended up being killed, because his willingness to love was stronger than his fear of death! Pray so that God may give you the grace to love others with such a selfless love. 
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;
    i. The Bible reading from  St John (John 9:1–41) 
    ii. Candle
    iii. Cover the table with a violet cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊 
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family. 


In this week’s gospel story Jesus heals a man born blind.

  • That there is more than one way of being “blind.”
  • Whiteboard marker
  • Whiteboard

nvite the children to share a testimony of something that God has done for them and / or their family. Remind the child that we should always share what God has done in our lives even if others don’t believe us or reject us!

Finally, share how Jesus told the religious leaders that just like how the blind man needed physical sight, people need spiritual sight too. Here, ask the children, “did you know we have eyes in our hearts?”. 

Indeed, we can think about seeing with our hearts when we, for example, consider our attitudes towards God and one another. If your thoughts and your actions are focused on yourself, it’s hard to have a “vision” or see outside your own little problems and needs. You might be able to look at things with your eyes, but you’ll be “blinded” to what God is doing, or to the things other people need and are doing (i.e., you’ll be just like the Pharisees!). It’s like closing your eyes, or wearing goggles that don’t let you look around. Let us pray so that Jesus may help us see Him and recognise His actions and presence in our lives!

Sign of the Cross 

Dear Jesus, thank you for healing us and for using our failures in our favour. Help us open our eyes; both physically and mentally, so that we can recognise your love and your work in our lives and in the lives of others. Thank you for your unconditional love! Help us be more like the blind man who began to see!


In today’s the gospel, Jesus heals a blind man and rebukes the Pharisees for their legalistic mind-set.

  • That spiritual blindness is a flaw healed by grace and the gift of faith!
  • Whiteboard marker
  • Whiteboard

Can some of you tell me what your favourite book/film is? [i.e., feel free to ask whatever general question you want to ask here. The purpose of the question is to get the kids to tell a little bit about themselves. Your job is to say from time-to-time “I see.”]. 

Thank you all for sharing with me your favourite books/films.

Did you by any chance hear what I was saying as you were talking? (i.e., yes, I was saying, “I see.”). If so, what do you think I meant when I was saying “I see”? (i.e., that I  understood what was being said). So, this means that there is a type of seeing where you see things with your eyes, right? But there is also a type of seeing where you understand things in your mind!

Sometimes in comics or cartoons, a character will have a little lightbulb light up in their head as a way to show this kind of seeing (i.e., seeing with the mind); the lightbulb is a way to show that the character can see a new idea/a new thought.    

The reason why I am talking about these two types of seeing is because both types of seeing are in today’s scripture story. We hear about the first type of seeing (seeing with eyes) when Jesus heals a man who was blind. Being blind means what, again? […] That’s right! Someone who cannot see with their eyes. So Jesus, with God’s help, healed the man’s eyes so that he could see.

But then the Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of Israel, got upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The Pharisees thought Jesus did work when he healed the man. And because they thought that working on the Sabbath was a bad thing to do, they got very upset with Jesus.

This brings us to the whole point of the story. Because the Pharisees were all upset about what Jesus did, it meant that they could not “see” God’s work. They were not physically blind, but mentally. They did not see and understand what God was doing through Jesus. There was no light bulb going off in their heads. This is why at the end of the story, Jesus had to tell them that even though they could see things with their eyes, they could not see the things that God was doing right in front of them. Are we like the Pharisees? Or are we more like that blind man who was not longer blind but could see and recognise Jesus? 

Although the healing of the blind man is a rather cool thing, how the Pharisees reacted made a very sad story. The very people who should have been the most excited about how God was at work, were completely blind to how God was at work. But, we don’t need to be like the Pharisees. In the same way that Jesus helped the blind man to see with his eyes, Jesus also helps us “see” how God is at work in the world.

Jesus shows us how to invite God into our lives so that God can work with us and through us in the world. And as we invite God into our lives like Jesus shows us to do, then we would be doing the same things that Jesus did which helped others see God better, too!

Then, others will be better able to help other people see how God is at work in the world. And on and on and on…. and that is very Good News!

Sign of the Cross

Dear Jesus, thank you for healing us and for using our imperfections in our favour. Help us to open our eyes; both physically and mentally, so that we can recognise your love and your work in our lives and in the lives of others. Thank you for your unconditional love!


How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.