Vatican City, Apr 3, 2011 / 08:47 am
Pope Benedict said during Sunday's Angelus that Christ heals men and women from spiritual blindness and gives them strength to “conquer evil” though the grace of baptism.
On April 3, the Pope invited Catholics to reflect on the grace of the sacrament and emphasized that this week's “Laetare” Sunday is a time of rejoicing and celebration as Christians prepare for Easter.
Pope Benedict said that an illustration of this joy can be found in the story of the blind man healed by Jesus in today's Gospel reading from John. The blind man not only gains his physical sight but comes to believe in Christ.
All people, “due to the sin of Adam were born 'blind,' but in the baptismal font we were illuminated by the grace of Christ,” he said. “Sin wounded humanity and destined it to the darkness of death, but in Christ shines the newness of life and the goal to which we are called.”
“In Him,” the Pope said, “reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit, we receive the strength to conquer evil and do good.”
The Pope pointed out that in the Gospel reading, those within the narrative have starkly different reactions to the miracle. The blind man himself goes through a gradual “walk of faith.” He meets Jesus who heals him, considers him a prophet, and then his spiritual “eyes” are opened to see Christ as the Son of God.
However, the Pharisees do not accept the miracle as they do not accept Jesus as the Messiah, and the once blind man's parents are now fearful of judgment.
The Pope asked, “what attitude do we assume before Jesus?”