Holy Manna: March 20, 2023

Holy Manna: A Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Read: John 9:1-41

In contemplating this passage, I’m reflexively drawn to the response of the Pharisees to the miracle that Jesus has performed. The most obvious takeaway is that while the humble blind man suffered from a physical impairment, the elite are spiritually blind. And in their case, unlike the blind man, the affliction is willful. The truth of what Jesus has done, and the power to which that act speaks, is in front of their faces, and the blind man who they interrogate has a pretty snarky response to their dismissal of it as 1st Century “fake news,” along with their skepticism regarding Jesus’ origin.

“Why, this is a marvel! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

On the subject of healing and disability, there is another notable takeaway from this passage: Jesus’ proclamation that rather than taking a “blame the victim” attitude toward any who suffer a “disability,” we should instead recognize, as he does, “that the works of God might be manifest in him.” Otherwise, we risk the blindness of the Pharisees.

Lord, take away my blindness in failing to recognize you in my brothers and sisters, in whatever place or condition I might find them, and let me cleanse myself of my sins towards them. Amen.
-Michael Boss