October 12, 2016: Go Wash !

~by Louis Templeman



“I am” in the Biblical sense is a name or a reference to divinity. It is a modern Anglicization of the ancient Hebrew word Yahweh. We know the great “I am” would refer to God, but is there a little “I am”? A man healed of blindness in the story in John 9: 1-41 answered a question with the phrase, “I am.” This claim on another level may be a reference to the same divinity. In that we are created in the image of God can we use this language to reflect this image? It may well be within the framework of our ancient faith to enable us to connect to the very reality of God behind the image.

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. . . . Jesus answered . . . “We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.” . . . When he has 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 . . . “(and he) came back able to see. . . . His neighbors said, “Is this the one who used to sit and beg”” . . . “I am.” . . . Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight . . . . They threw him out (of Temple). When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” . . . “I do believe Lord.” . . . Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgement, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” John 9: 1-41 NABRE

By the use of the phrase “I am” we could say that after the blind man was touched by Jesus he became like Jesus. He could see. He sounded like Jesus, i.e., “I am.” He was rejected by those who could not accept the change.

When Jesus sees the blind man, he says, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Once the blind man is healed, the people ask, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Why are they doubtful? Are they betraying their own blindness? They see the physical appearance of their formerly blind neighbor but they cannot recognize him after he has been touched by the Master. The blind man answers using words that Christ uses of himself; he says, “I am.” Is this a coincidence? The man born blind “so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” Now that God has worked in him he can recognize in himself that he is a God-bearer. Light has produced in him goodness and righteousness and truth. The Light who is Christ produces goodness in us by which we come to resemble Christ himself. We beg for the ability to look into the heart of each person we meet and to see reality the way God does.

The man born blind discovered that living by the light can draw down upon us the wrath of those who prefer to live in darkness. The most blinding of temptations can be to appease those we respect or love rather than obey the will of God.

Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive


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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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