Sunday of the Blind Man
last Sunday of Pascha – this coming Wednesday is the Leave-taking of the Feast – commemorates the healing of the
man born blind. We are identified with that man who came to see and to believe
in Jesus as the Son of God. The Lord has anointed our eyes with his own
divine hands and washed them with the waters of our baptism. The Gospel read
today details that healing.
Jesus used clay of spittle
and told the man to wash in the waters of Siloam. He did so even though
it was the Sabbath on which clay-making and washing were strictly forbidden. By
violating these ritual laws, Jesus shows that he is indeed the Lord of the Sabbath, and, as such, that he is equal to God
Today’s reading from the Book of Acts tells of what happened to Paul and Silas after they heal
a young woman who was possessed.
The following readings below are for Sunday, May 22,
Today's Epistle reading [Acts 16.16-34]:
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met
by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying.
She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of
salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and
turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that
her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before
the rulers; and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, "These men are Jews and they are disturbing
our city. They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept
or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates
tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when
they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely.
Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening
to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all
the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened. When the jailer
woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners
had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself,
for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling
with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and
your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to
all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night,
and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then
he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in
The Gospel reading for today [John 9.1-38]:
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And
his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest
in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night
comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light
of the world.” As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay
of the spittle and anointed the man's eyes with the clay, saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which
means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. The neighbors and
those who had seen him before as a beggar, said, "Is not this the man who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, "It is he"; others said, "No, but he is like him." He said, "I am the man.” They said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?”
He answered, "The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash'; so
I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is he?" He said, "I do not know."
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.
Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The
Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, "He
put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees
said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is
a sinner do such signs?" There was a division among them. So they again
said to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?”
He said, "He is a prophet.”
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents
of the man who had received his sight, and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he
now see?” His parents answered, "We know that this is our son,
and that he was born blind; but how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age,
he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared
the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if any one should confess him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him.”
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, "Give God the praise;
we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, "Whether he is
a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you
too want to become his disciples?” And they reviled him, saying, "You
are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken
to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The
man answered, "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 any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to
him. Never since the world began has it been heard that any one opened the
eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?"
And they cast him out.
that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of man?”
He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.”
He said, "Lord, I believe"; and he worshiped him.