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Fourth Sunday of Lent

FIRST READING David is anointed king of Israel. A reading from the first book of Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a The Lord said to Samuel: “Take some olive oil with you and go to a man named Jesse who lives in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” When Jesse and his sons got there, Samuel saw Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, and thought, “He must be the one the Lord has chosen.” But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t choose him just because he is tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I have chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I don’t. I judge by what is in a person’s heart.” Jesse sent seven of his sons to Samuel, but each time Samuel would say, “The Lord has not chosen him.” Finally, Samuel asked Jesse, “Do you have any more sons?” Jesse answered, “Yes, my youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him. We won’t start until he gets here.” Jesse sent for David, and he came. He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes. The Lord told Samuel, “This is the one. Pour the olive oil on his head.” Samuel poured the oil on David’s head while his brothers watched. At that moment the Lord’s Spirit took control of David and stayed with him from then on. The word of the Lord. RESPONSORIAL PSALM 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5b-6c R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. While my enemies watch, you honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. SECOND READING You are people of the light. A reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10 Brothers and sisters: Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children. Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered his life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God. You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, as you try to please the Lord. The word of the Lord. VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL John 8:12 R. Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. R. Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. GOSPEL The man who was blind went off and washed himself and came away with his sight restored. † A reading from the holy gospel according to John 9:1, 6-12, 35-38 One day as Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. Jesus spit on the ground. He made some mud and smeared it on the man’s eyes. Then he said, “Go and wash off the mud in Siloam Pool.” The man went and washed in Siloam, which means “One Who Is Sent.” When he had washed off the mud, he could see. The man’s neighbors and the people who had seen him begging wondered if he really could be the same man. Some of them said he was the same beggar, While others said he only looked like him. But he told them, “I am that man.” “Then how can you see?” they asked. He answered, “Someone named Jesus made some mud and smeared it on my eyes. He told me to go and wash it off in Siloam Pool. When I did, I could see.” “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he answered. When Jesus heard what had happened, he went and found the man. Then Jesus asked, “Do you have faith in the Son of Man?” He replied, “Sir, if you will tell me who he is, I will put my faith in him.” “You have already seen him,” Jesus answered, “and right now he is talking with you.” The man said, “Lord, I put my faith in you!” Then he worshiped Jesus. The gospel of the Lord. Fourth Sunday of Lent – Eyes of Faith Reflection: The readings today center on one thing – SIGHT. God sends a messenger to choose a leader for God’s people. The messenger must judge wisely. Candidates come before the messenger to be judged whether they qualify for the leadership position. The messenger looks upon each of us, old or young, educated or experienced, rich or poor, outspoken and demanding or soft spoken and servant. The messenger, with the God’s wisdom chooses the leader by looking deeply into the human heart. Jesus invites us to see with the “Eyes of Faith. To walk along the path with Jesus with the sight that comes from the eyes of faith. Many of us see and yet many of us remain blind. The phrase “Seeing is Believing!” is used to mean, “show me, then I will trust you.” This phrase is true only when we see with the Eyes of Faith. The Eyes of Faith calls us to look with a deeper sight, to open our eyes and open our heart to say “Yes” to God to change us. Now that is seeing with the Eyes of Faith! Blindness is closing our hearts to God and to others. Blindness is a protective shield that screams out, “I will not change,” saying “No” to God. God knows our heart! God created the human heart to make choices. Some choices bring us closer to God and other choices keep us away from God. Whatever choices we make we belong to God. The deeper choice is, Will I chose God? Created in God’s image God looks lovingly upon the human heart to come closer. The choice is ours and ours alone. Invitation to Action: Jesus gives us the invitation to follow the path that leads to God. The Spirit of God guides our hearts to make choices that bring us closer to God. God chooses us, Jesus teaches us and the Spirit of God empowers us. How much do you trust God? How much do you trust your mom, your dad? How much do you trust your sister, your brother? How much do you trust your friends? God gives us the choice to change, the choice to trust in God – the gift of faith. See with the Eyes of Faith! Trust Game • One person is blindfolded. One person is Jesus. Others cry out with different names. • The one blindfolded moves around the room to find Jesus who alone can remove the blindfold. To find Jesus the one blindfolded must cry out, “I trust you, Lord!” • The person of Jesus remains in the same place at all times. Each time the blindfolded person cries out, Jesus responds by saying, “I am Jesus.” • The others are free to move around the room, and respond to the person crying out, “I am (fill in another name).” For example: Moses, Joseph, Jesse, Peter, James, John. • In the chaos, the blinded person must find Jesus and reject the ones who are false. If the blinded one finds someone who is not Jesus, by touch, that person is out of the game (includes accidental bumping into the blinded one). Once out of the game the person must remain silent and may not move around the room.

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