Greeting (See Second Reading)
We were darkness once
but now we are light in the Lord.
Wake up from your sleep,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
May the light of Christ be always with you.
R/ And with your spirit.

One of the most irritating things in life, in ourselves as well as in others, is when we and people seem blind to what is evident: Why don’t they see? Why didn’t I see this? We are Christians, people with faith, and in baptism Christ has given us eyes of faith. Yet too often we are blind to God, to people, to the things we should see about ourselves. We ask our Lord in this Eucharist to touch and open our eyes to the deeper and beautiful realities of our faith.
It is certain, in our Christian living we are often in the dark. At times we sin, and sin brings darkness. Other times we don’t understand very well what our faith asks of us and what God expects us to do, and so we are merely groping in the dark. Today we see how Jesus is looking for us to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to himself and his Good News. He came into the world to be our light. Let us welcome him as the light of our eyes.

Penitential Act
Sometimes we even refuse to see or face
the wrong we do to God and people
Let us ask for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Lord Jesus, touch our eyes
and open them to our failures and sins:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, touch our ears
and open them to the cries of the poor and the lonely:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, touch our hearts
and open them to your love and trust:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,
forgive us all our sins
and fully revive in us the faith of our baptism.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray for the light of faith

Father of light,
you close the eyes of those who think they see
because they rely only on their own insights;
you let your Son open the eyes
of those eager for your light.
Let Jesus, the light of the world,
heal us and give us faith and understanding.
Let Jesus restore our sight
that we may see the way
that leads to you and to people,
and at the end of our road
we may see you, our God for ever. R/ Amen.

First Reading (1 SAMUEL 16:1b, 6-7,10-13a): David’s Anointing
God does not judge a person according to appearances, but he looks at the heart. David, the youngest, is chosen and anointed king.

1 Reading: 1 SAMUEL 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
The LORD said to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.” As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.” Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.” Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, “There—anoint him, for this is the one!” Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.

Responsorial PSALM 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul. R.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage. R.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. R.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come. R.

Second Reading (EPHESIANS 5:8-14): Christ Will Shine On You
The light of Christ shines on us since baptism. We are therefore children of light, called to bring forth fruits of goodness, justice and truth.

2 Reading: EPHESIANS 5:8-14
Brothers and sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Verse Before the Gospel: Jn 8:12
Glory and praise to you, oh Christ!
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Glory and praise to you, oh Christ!

Gospel (JOHN 9:1-41 or 9:1,6-9,13-17,34-38): I Was Blind and Now I Can See
A man born blind encounters Christ and can see, first with his eyes and then with the eyes of faith. We are that person.

Gospel: JOHN 9:1-41
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see. His neighbours and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is,” but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” And they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a Sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.” So a 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 replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” The man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out. When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Radiate the light of Christ
The theme of the liturgy on the fourth Sunday of Lent is light. The Gospel tells the story of the man born blind who is given sight by Jesus. This miraculous sign confirms Jesus’ affirmation that “I am the light of the world” (v. 5), the light that illuminates our darkness.
From the early days of the Church, the story of the man born blind is proposed for reflection during Lent. The healing story is narrated in the context of the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the most important feasts of the Jews that lasted seven days. It was characterized by an explosion of joy and liturgies of light and water.
On the last day, the most solemn day of the feast, Jesus stood at the esplanade of the temple and cried out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink” (Jn 7:37).
In the healing story, how Jesus is addressed by different groups of people must be noted: for the authorities—for those who claim to have sight — Jesus is just ‘that man.’ They have eyes, but they don’t want to see who he is.
The blind man journeys a path of faith that corresponds to that of every disciple. In the beginning, Jesus is for him a simple “man” (11). He gradually takes a route that leads him to discover the identity of the one who opened his eyes and to confess his faith in Him. He considers Him a prophet (17); then recognizes Him as one who comes from God (33); Finally, he welcomes Him as the Messiah and prostrate himself before Him (36-38).
The last title is the most important. It is that title with which Christians proclaimed their faith. Before coming to be immersed in the water of the baptism, during the solemn ceremony of the Easter Vigil, each catechumen declares in front of the whole community: ‘I believe that Jesus is the Lord.’
The healed man, who now sees both with the eyes of the body and of the soul, is the image of every baptised person, who immersed in Grace has been pulled out of the darkness and placed in the light of faith. But it is not enough to receive light, it is necessary to become light.
Pope Francis explains this passages and says: “The seed of new life placed in us in Baptism is like a spark of a fire, which purifies us first, burning the evil that we have in our hearts, and allows us to shine and illuminate with the light of Jesus.”

Let us pray to Jesus our Lord, our true light, that he may instill in all of us a personal and committed faith, and let us say:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.

– For the Church, the People of God, that we may help the light of our Lord shine in this world and proclaim his message of truth and love in the language of our time, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.
– For all those blinded by doubt or despair that they may see again the light of faith through the personal faith of dedicated Christians and the witnessing of the Christian community, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.
– For all who claim to follow Christ, that their eyes may be wide-open to the injustice in which they share, and that they may help to restore the hopes of people in God’s values of truth, dignity and justice, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.
– For victims of oppression and discrimination, for refugees and those struck by disasters, that we may not be blind to their needs but help them carry their burdens, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.
– For our beloved dead, that the Lord may take them into everlasting light and joy, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let your light shine on us.

Lord Jesus Christ, let us live in your light. Make us see you, in things and the people around us. For you are our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Father of light,
make us see with eyes of faith
your Son Jesus Christ coming soon among us
in these humble signs of bread and wine.
Help us to recognize him also
in the blind beggar on the sidewalk,
the handicapped in wheel chairs,
the jobless from the slums.
For these too are your Son among us today,
Jesus Christ our brother and Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
We thank and praise God our Father, who has given us in baptism his Son Jesus as the light of our lives.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
With Jesus, the light of our lives,
let us pray to God our Father
to forgive our sins and to set us free
from the darkness of sin. R/ Our Father…

Deliver Us
Deliver us Lord, from the darkness
of sin and evil
and grant us the peace
that comes from justice and friendship.
Set us free from the prisons we have made
for ourselves and for others
by blind selfishness,
and let the light of your Son shine on us
as we prepare for the full coming
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom…

Invitation to Communion (cf. Jn 9:11)
This is Jesus, the light of the world.
He came and rubbed our eyes;
we were washed in the font of baptism;
then we could see and believe in him.
Happy are we to be invited
to see his light and eat his bread. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
wake us up from the night of sin
and the sleep of indifference
by the power of Jesus, your Son.
Let the light of Christ shine in us,
that those around us may discover in us
a bit of the goodness of your Son,
of his compassionate love,
of the truth he spoke
and the new life he brought.
May all people thus give you praise
and see your light for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

God has called us through Christ
to be children of light.
May we bear witness in everyday life
to the light of Christ,
in goodness, justice and truth.
And may God bless you for this mission,
that you may be a blessing to all:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Let us go and be the light of Christ
to all who are willing to see.
R/ Thanks be to God.

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