Au In the beginning was the Word

1. Be what it may be the blindness of the man born blind (Jn 9), Church´s catechumenal and liturgical tradition has, at the end, seen there the process of all those who find the light called Christ. The blind’s passage is also a test which can be applied to revise the faith’s experience. The faith’s experience bursts here into a specific situation: that of a youngster who goes from the blindness to the light

2. When John’s Gospel is written (about the year 90), his community – resembling Jesus – has upon it a refusal and expulsion long trajectory. But there are many who have reached the sight, only going into that community. Jewish people (as much religious as those who most were, always inserted in an old tradition) are blind, like the world which prefers shadows to light.

3. Jesus meets the blind - apparently – in a chance encounter, when walking along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. We can recall the specific circumstances in which we met Christ, if it has been so. It is Jesus the one who sees us. We don´t see him. We never have seen. We are blind from birth.

4. The disciples ask who is guilty of this situation, of this blindness: Who has sinned, he or his parents? At the end, would there be a personal or, perhaps, familiar responsibility?. Jesus says: Neither he nor his parents have sinned. Nobody is guilty. On the contrary, by contrast, God´s works is going to show. Jesus is on the perspective of healing, of what God can do in this case. It is necessary to collaborate with Him, while it is day.

5. This is the key: While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Christ is the light. With his presence the day arrives. With his absence, the night arrives. That, who has not met him, does not know what the light is. He is blind, no matter how much religious tradition he has on his back. He is blind from birth and original blindness must be healed.

6. They were celebrating the feast of the Tents. For seven days the people live in tents, as in other times, and they request the rain. Every morning, the priests go in procession, with bouquets, singing psalms (113- 118), to the pool of Siloé to get out water and to take it to the temple; the seventh day the procession is repeated seven times. At dusk, the temple is illuminated with candelabra and torches; the whole city becomes illuminated. In this context, the last day of the feast, the most solemn, Jesus announces other water (Jn 7, 37), other light (7, 12).

7. The first thing that Jesus makes to the blind man is to put mud in his eyes. It is necessary to understand what this treatment that Jesus applies to our dust made being (Gn 2, 7) means in each case. But a difficulty arises; Jesus makes in Saturday something that is forbidden: he works (heals), besides in a moment in which the Jews are looking for him to kill him. (Jn 7, 1).

8. Jesus tells the blind man: Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam (which means envoy). With surprising easiness, the incredible takes place: he went, washed and came back able to see. The healing shows who is, really, the Envoy and where is the true pool. Church´s living tradition has found here a baptismal symbolism. The baptism is the regeneration bath. (Tt 3, 5), that takes place in the saint pool (S. Cyril of Jerusalem). The baptism by immersion of the first centuries clearly expresses it. The pool in which Saint Augustine may have been baptized can be seen in Milan’s cathedral crypt

9. The neighbours perceive the change. For them it was the beggar who was seated to beg, dependent of the rest of the people. Some say that it is not the same man, but another one who resembles him. And the questions, which will be repeated in diverse circumstances, appear: how have your eyes opened? Where is that man? The man who had been blind knows very little about that man called Jesus. Nevertheless, he is already seeing God´s wonders.

10. The healed youngster ends up before the Pharisee court: it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made mud paste and opened his eyes.  The questioning is centered upon the Law transgression, the Sabbath Law; so, they say: This man does not come from God. Nevertheless, others perceive the signal and ask themselves: how can a sinner make such signal? In the midst of the discussion, the man is requested to state his opinion. And he does so. He steps forward and says: He is a prophet.

11. The Jews refused to believe that the youngster had been blind, they don´t see the change and they interrogate the parents, who confirm his son’s identity and blindness past condition.  About all the other things they do not know, they do not answer; they are afraid: The Jews had already agreed that whoever confessed Jesus to be the Christ was to be put out of Jewish community. In a more or less open way, a frontal fight is perceived. It is clear: Whoever takes a bath in the pool is thrown out of the synagogue.

12. At the end, the process is against Jesus. The Jews discredit him: he is a sinner, they say to the man who had been blind. But nobody can take him out of the unquestionable fact: I only know that I was blind and now I see. The Jews come back again with their questions, but he refers them to his last declaration. He even ridicules: Is it that you also want to become his disciples? A midst insults, the positions become clear: “You are disciple of that man; we are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but this, we don´t know where he comes from”.

13. In all this matter there is something strange, says the youngster: that you, who are responsible of the religious order, do not know from where comes the one who has opened my eyes. It is, besides, one of the expected signs, a messianic sign: Then will the eyes of the blind be opened (Is 35, 5), a sign that is accomplished in Jesus´ Gospel: the blind see (Mt 11, 5). Like it could be expected, he was expulsed. The evangelization process goes through that authenticity test that is the conflict because of Christ. Jesus said it: Unhappy are you when the people speak well of you, for that is how the fathers of those people treated the false prophets (Lk 6, 26)

14. Jesus became aware that he has been thrown out and, as he met him, he asked him a question that, before or afterwards, he makes to all of us: Do you believe in the Son of Man? He answered: Who is he, Lord, so I can believe in him? How can I identify him? Jesus told him: You have seen him. The one who is talking to you, that is him. The youngster advances the last step in the evangelization process: that man, that prophet, he is the Lord. The process culminates in the faith confession: I believe, Lord. And he prostrated before him.

15. At the end, a judgment is underway: so that those who do not see get the sight; and those who see, become blind. It is to say, those who acknowledge his blindness, see. And those who, being blind, say that they can see stay in their blindness.

* Dialogue: How do I place  myself before Jesús?

- Like the blind of birth, with mud in the eyes, sent to the pool, cleaned in the pool, with light in the eyes.

- The change is perceived by the neighbours, the parents do not know, they are afraid

- Before the Pharisee court; thrown out of the synagogue.

- Like the disciple who says: I believe, Lord. I have seen him, he talked to me.