4LA23. 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a. “Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is here before him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel: ‘Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.’” Who we are at the core of our being is what really matters. It is natural to desire to present an appearance of ourselves that makes a good impression and so to gain the favor of those around us. What we should be working on throughout all of our lives is to be pleasing to the Lord who sees what we are really all about and whose judgment of us is all that counts for anything of real value. After David was anointed by Samuel, “the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David,” which is to say, God established a mighty presence in him to make of him the spectacular person he was to become in Hebrew history. At our baptism the Holy Spirit establishes within us a lifelong residence to make a saint of us.
John 9:1-41. In his gospel John finds a way to speak of the spiritual by paralleling or making it analogous to the physical. Here Jesus chooses to cure a man’s physical blindness so to open the eyes of his soul to see the spiritual light that is Jesus. In contrast the Pharisees who have the physical capacity to see choose to remain spiritually blind.
Ephesians 5:8-14. Paul wrote: “Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” In today’s gospel reading Jesus says, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Jesus through the Holy Spirit enlightens us to eternal reality or truth. Sin is a distortion of reality or truth that deludes us into thinking that what is bad or evil is desirable or good for us at the moment. Jesus helps us to keep our heart’s and mind’s vision clear. To live in darkness is to live with the desire to please our bodies, the world and the devil and not the Lord.