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LENT V  ::  Sunday, March 19

   Readings  --  1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a;  Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6;  Eph 5:8-14; JN 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38


   Reflection by Dan O’Donnell

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.
(JN 9: 1-3)

Boarding the Red Line on my way Downtown during rush hour the other day, I met a friend. We sat together and talked for several stops. When he got off, a young man, of a different ethnicity, carrying three gym bags boarded the train, placed his bags one seat away from me, took off his coat (it’s cold outside, but warm on the train) placed his coat on the bags, sat down on the seat between his bags and me, and then looked at me. I looked back at him and asked him where he was headed. That sparked a conversation and evidently some trust. A few minutes into the conversation he pulled a small package out of his pocket, showed it to me and asked if I knew what it was. I looked at it, and said it looked like a package of candy. He said it was marijuana. Oh! I thought to myself, it’s time to move to another seat. My inner voice told me otherwise and I smiled and stayed put. For the next ten minutes this beautiful young man sitting next to me took the weed from the package, rolled himself a “joint” , lit it and

began to smoke, all the time without saying a word, but making me feel that he was quite willing to share it and his life with me. I just wanted to discreetly move away from him and run. I didn’t run from him nor my feelings.  

God, help me see all you have made as good, even death and things I don’t understand or feel comfortable around, accepting all and saying thank you and knowing that you love me. So often I am so afraid of life, and I keep wanting to take control by identifying what is good and what is bad. That hasn’t worked too well for me in the past. What does seem to work is accepting all the gifts you give me today, even if they are scary, like death or a beautiful young man wanting to share. Help me believe what you tell your disciples and me today, namely that I am loved, and I can love. If I do, I live, no matter what happens to me physically. 

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