A reading for Saturday, January 4, 2013: John 9:1-12, 35-38
In the ancient world (and maybe even still today) a very prevalent belief was that those who suffered from an infirmity were being punished for sin. Sometimes the sin was of their own doing, but sometimes the blindness or lameness was visited upon them because of the sins of their ancestors. That's what people thought. This is the question asked of Jesus about the blind man... "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus changes the question completely. Rather than fault and blame, Jesus wants to offer healing and wholeness. God can bring a blessing even from something tragic and difficult. What others mean for bad, God can transform into good. That's the message of the Kingdom of God. This is perhaps the front lines of the struggle to redeem all of creation.
When things happen to us, we often look for fault and blame. Someone must be held responsible. This has to be someone's fault. I wonder if Jesus still wants to change to questions we ask. Perhaps rather than fault and blame, we too might look for what God is doing in the midst of our struggles. God does not cause suffering or even look the other way when it happens. But God can turn even the darkest night into day. Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." As long as those that believe in Jesus and follow as disciples are in the world, there is light in the midst of darkness.
“Lord, I believe.”