Wednesday, 13 March 2013

From Gueranger's Liturgical Year

Thanks to arsorandi.

Gospel - St. John, 9. 1-38


The Liturgical Year, by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B

In the early ages of the Church, Baptism was frequently called illumination, because this Sacrament confers supernatural faith, whereby man is enlightened with the divine light. It is on this account, that the history of the cure of the man born blind was read on this day, for it is the figure of man's being enlightened by Christ. This subject is frequently met with in the paintings in the catacombs, and on the bas-reliefs of the ancient Christian monuments.

We are all born blind; Jesus, by the mystery of His Incarnation, figured by this clay which represents our flesh, has merited for us the gift of sight; but in order that we may receive it, we must go to the pool of Him that is divinely Sent, and we must be washed in the water of Baptism. Then shall we be enlightened with the very light of God, and the darkness of reason will disappear. The humble obedience of the blind man, who executes, with the utmost simplicity, all that our Saviour commands him, is an image of our catechumens, who listen with all docility to the teachings of the Church, for they, too, wish to be healed.

Our Saviour asks him, as the Church asked us on the day of our Baptism: Dost thou believe in the Son of God? The blind man, ardently desiring to believe, answers eagerly: Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? Faith brings the weak reason of many into union with the sovereign wisdom of God, and puts us in possession of His eternal truth. No sooner has Jesus declared Himself to be God, than this simple-heated man falls down and adores Him: he that from being blind is blessed with bodily sight is now a Christian! What a lesson was here for our catechumens! At the same time, this history showed the, and reminds us, of the frightful perversity of Jesus' enemies. He, the preeminently Just Man, is shortly to be put to death, and it si by the shedding of His Blood that He is to merit for us, and for all mankind, the cure of that blindness in which we were all born, and which our own personal sins have tended to increase. Glory, then, love, and gratitude be to our divine Physician, who, by uniting Himself to our human nature, has prepared the ointment, whereby our eyes are cured of their infirmity, and strengthened to gaze, for all eternity, on the brightness of the Godhead!

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