March 14, 2021
This week we will celebrate the second scrutiny rite and it seems a good time to discuss conversion. Conversion is for everyone! We celebrate the journey of conversion through the scrutiny rites on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays in Lent with the Elect (those who will receive the sacraments of Initiation at Easter) and for our Elect the call of conversion began long before they entered the RCIA and certainly it is a call that will go on long after they leave the RCIA, die and rise in Baptism and join the community at the Table of the Lord. Conversion is lifelong. Conversion is a call we ALL answer.
Conversion is from the Greek, metanoia, and it means “to turn.” Conversion is part of our relationship with God. God calls and we are faced with the decision to respond, to “turn around” and return to God. In the Gospel last week, we heard of the encounter of Jesus with the Woman at the Well. Her journey of conversion began with Jesus offering her living water. It was a journey that required a response on her part, and she did respond. She left her water jar, ran home and began to tell all what she had heard. Her life had begun to turn.
This week we hear the story of the Man Born Blind. In this account the man asks nothing of Jesus, rather, Jesus acts first and heals the man who obeys without hesitation and upon washing is able to see. This is a story about sight and blindness, about those who turn when Jesus calls and those who choose not to see. We see the conversion grow in the man born blind. He starts by calling Jesus “the man called Jesus” and by the end of the story he has declared his faith in the Son of Man by stating “Lord, I believe.” He grows in his faith even while those who should see, the holy people, the priests of the Temple, refuse and are blind.
Jesus sees the man born blind. Someone who was a nonentity, invisible in the world around him. He reaches for him and raises him up even as he spoke with and changed the life of the Samaritan woman at the well (another nonperson).
Like the Elect with whom and for whom we pray these scrutiny rites, we are called to hear the Word and turn, see through the eyes of Christ and live in a new way. Conversion is an ongoing and lifelong journey through which we grow ever closer to God and one another and by so doing help others hear the call of Christ in their hearts. As we begin to prepare for Holy Week let us turn and mirror the response of the man born blind when Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Let us walk with the Elect and together acclaim, “I do believe.”