Gospel Reflection: Fourth Sunday of Lent

First reading 1 Samuel 16: 1b, 6-7, 10-13a
“For the Lord does not see as mortals see, they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Second reading: Eph 5: 8-14
“For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light.”

Gospel: John 9: 1-41
“He was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.” 

     The readings and the gospel for the coming fourth Sunday of lent is all about blindness. Many times in my life I also experience blindness, of all sorts.
      Last Sunday was Adobo Festival at Regina RICA. It was also the blessing of the improved St. Joseph Rotonda, the new St. Joseph Statue and the new Bakery and Administrative Services (BASE) Offices.
      I was assigned to administer in SULOD at 8 a.m. At 9:45, Sr. Matt came and told me that I have to attend the blessings. She will take my post in SULOD until 1 p.m. So, I went down and joined the procession and blessings, and the 11:00 a.m. mass, afterwards. After the mass, I joined the adobo lunch. I tasted all kinds of adobo prepared by our kitchen staff and those brought by friends and pilgrims. I was so full when I finished. At 1:00 p.m., I decided to go back to SULOD to check if Sr. Matt was still there. But she was no longer there, and Sr. Tess was taking the post.
     So, I went down and decided to stay at the third level of Pasilungan to read the books that I brought with me. There was one pilgrim, a woman, silently eating her lunch in the corner. I just took the sit on the table near the stairs and started reading my book. Until, suddenly I fall asleep on the table. I have fallen asleep for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, I felt something I was disturbed from my sleep. When I woke up, I saw the woman standing on the side of the table, in the act of putting Pan de RICA bread and a bottle of Agua RICA on the table, for me. I was surprised, I asked, “What is this ma’am?” The woman, in a gesture, said that the food and drink was for me. I was ashamed my reaction was I rejected her offer. I said, “No ma’am these bread and water are our products. Please take it with you.” The woman suddenly gathered the bread and the water and left me without saying a word.
     It was late when I realize the beautiful gesture of love and care of that woman. She could be Jesus! Maybe she thought I am also a pilgrim at Regina RICA and I don’t have my lunch yet. Maybe she thought I am a poor sister and I have no money to buy my food.
     It was late when I realized, maybe I hurt her feelings when I rejected her offer of food and drink. I thought of chasing her, to at least say Thank You, for that beautiful gesture but she was no longer there. I just offered a prayer for her and thank the Lord for making me feel loved and cared for, until my feeling of guilt for my reaction was gone.
      On my first day at ICLA, I forgot to bring something for my snacks. I am not familiar with so many faces; I was just silently sitting after the break, waiting for the speaker to begin the session. Suddenly, a sister offered me all her remaining snacks. I accepted the offer and put the stuff in my bag as the session was about to begin. I was thankful to that sister. I realized she is one of my classmates in the AWFP, last year. I did not recognize her because she is an Indian, silent, and did not participate much in our activities. But the gesture of offering me something to eat, maybe because she observed that I did not take my snacks is very much a humbling experience for me.
     Oh boy, how God is always present wherever I go, through the people that he sends my way!
     My personal challenge now is to be aware of the presence of God in every event of my life. Most of the times, I am not aware because I am blind. I am blinded by my painful experiences. I am also blinded by my beautiful experiences. I am also blinded by my pride and ego.
     Pope Francis wrote about The Way of Humility for our practice. I pray that I can live with that.
     I pray that I will not be blinded by my painful experiences that I will not see the goodness of other people.
     I pray that I will not be blinded by my beautiful experiences that I will not see the sufferings of other people.
     I pray that I will not be blinded by my pride and ego that I will not love unconditionally and generously.
     I pray that I will not fail God’s call, and I will not fall away from God’s light and truth by my stubbornness of heart.

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