4th Sunday of Lent (A)
A guest post by Fr. Joel Fortier.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —The Little Prince
The man born blind received his sight as he allowed himself to be touched by Jesus who is the light; not just his physical sight, but a new and radiant vision as he came to recognize and believe in the incarnate Presence of the divine in the one who had touched him in the flesh. He came to “see” rightly with his heart, through the eyes of Faith and Love.
It is through and in our humanness that God keeps us alive to love. Always stay alive to your humanness, it is where we are present to and experience love. If we lose touch with our humanness we lose touch with love, we lose touch with God. “Am I alive to my humanness, am I alive to love?” is always the question! What are the things and who are the people who have opened us to love, who have allowed us to see and know love? Stay alive to love, stay in touch with your humanness—the whole messy muddy mystery of it all—the desire and effort to love and be loved. Stay in touch with the Incarnate Presence of God in your humanness.
Sometimes we disparage of our humanness, our weaknesses, our vulnerability; we want to escape our humanness, yet it is precisely in the experience of our humanness that God keeps us alive to Love! That is where we find and experience God and love! Alive to our humanness we are alive to God…alive to love. Keep Love always alive in your heart!
Recognize in your humanness, weakness, and need, the very echo of God’s love and Presence in and for you. In our experience of the Incarnate Presence of love within us we come to find, discover, and “see” God. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” That is the vision the man born blind received. He could now see not only with his eyes but with his heart…”for what is essential is invisible to the eye,” it can only be seen with the heart! It is to see with and through a Sacred Heart where the fire and flame of God’s love burns bright. To see as God sees, for “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart,” and through it as well!
“You were once in darkness, but now you are light,” transparent to the light of God’s love and Presence shining through you! We are children of the light, let us not live and walk in darkness. Let us walk in the light and truth of God’s love, not in the darkness of deception and deceit.
Let the light shine through you that people may come to see even as you see rightly with your heart and walk in the light of God’s love in truth and in freedom. We give glory and praise to God who gives sight to the blind, shining even through our human weakness. Touched by light we become light.
“God said let there be light and there was light!” We are a new creation washed in the waters of Baptism we arise with Christ from darkness to light, from death to life. I arise today, sent to be light.
What a wonderful mystery is the Presence and action of God’s grace and Mercy in our lives! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!
Born in 1942 to French Canadian parents, Fr. Joel Fortier, along with his three siblings grew up in an environment steeped in Catholic spirituality and practice. He entered the University of Illinois before seminary to study Psychology, Education, and Philosophy. In 1969, Joel was ordained with a Master of Divinity from St. Meinrad Seminary for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois with extensive work and training in inner city parishes, and peace and justice movements. Joel received his Doctor of Ministry from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He has worked with Marriage Encounter, Cursillo, and Charismatic movements integrating with parish pastoral ministry. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Family Ministry for the Diocese of Joliet. Fr. Joel was the Pastor and founder of The Lisieux Pastoral Center of St. Theresa Parish in Kankakee, IL, the Pastor of St Isidore Parish, Bloomingdale IL, and most recently the Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Naperville, IL. Now retired from full-time parish ministry since 2013, Fr. Joel continues to live out his core statement: “To help make love happen, wherever and whenever possible