I have often reflected on the fact that everyone whom Jesus healed eventually got sick again and died.  Even the man blind from birth who is healed in today’s gospel eventually had his eyes darken in death.  St. John calls these miracles “signs” because they point to something greater than a temporary fix. These signs take us from what we can see with our natural eyes to what can only be revealed to the eyes of our souls.  

In one story after another, John’s gospel reminds us that to open the eyes of our souls to faith in Jesus is to experience rebirth, living water, and now new sight. This is the healing that doesn’t end in death. When we resist this grace, we descend, like the Pharisees, into the blindness of sin.  New sight comes only when we are humble enough to own our blindness and ask for this grace.

—J. Michael Sparough, S.J. is a Retreat Master and Spiritual Director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago. He blogs weekly at  www.heartoheart.org/Lent