MEMORIAL OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

ARE YOU BLIND?: A HOMILY ON THE MEMORIAL OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

Are you blind? This is a question that we must all answer. If you think you are blind, then you are blind. If you think you are not blind, then your blindness is incurable. He who does not know and knows that he does not know is a wise person. But he who does not know and does not know that he does not know is a real fool. There is an Igbo saying that ‘Onye buru chi ya uzo, o gbagbuo onwe ya n’oso’ Which means that when you are walking with God and you decide to be in front, you will end up running around aimlessly. This is exactly our story.

In the first reading, God is telling us that He must be the one teaching us and leading us on the way. He says if only we listened to his commandments, we would not be as unhappy as we are. In fact, our happiness would have been like a river. But we always know better than God, so we decide to be in front. 1544773514058436543910.jpgIf a blind man is walking with someone who can see, the blind person must be behind and allow himself to be led by the person who can see. This is why the responsorial psalm tells us that anyone who follows the Lord will have the light of life. But we often choose to follow the advice of foolish people or the dictates of our own heart. To make matters worse, we even expect God to follow us. Jesus tells us in the gospel that we are like children who are at the market place shouting to each other “We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges and you wouldn’t mourn”. God sent John the Baptist who was fasting and they said he is possessed. Jesus came eating and drinking, and they said he is a glutton and drunkard.

St. John of the Cross is one of the doctors of the church. But he was not very much liked by the people of his time, including church authorities. He was jailed and punished and was treated like the worse sinner. It was only after his death that people began to honour him as a great saint and doctor of the church. He wrote books on spirituality. In all things, he allowed himself to be led by God. He did not allow himself to be swayed by the opinions of people, because no matter what you do, you can never please people. If only we can all realise that we are blind and allow God to go before us and lead us. We may suffer rejection, but the joy of the Lord will be our strength. Do not be afraid. Go behind God and if you follow Him, you will have the light of life.

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