Perhaps today’s story of the healing of the blind man is especially important for us, for our generation. When the Savior walked near the blind man who was known throughout Jerusalem without asking him anything, not even about his faith, he passed by him and healed him. The blind man became a man who sees; the Pharisees began interrogating him, asking him who worked this great benefaction for him—something they themselves would never have been able to do.
Today in the Gospel we heard a story about an exceptionally courageous man—the man born blind. This man, having come to know and having seen God, was not afraid of any of the trials, of any of the temptations that the spiritually blind Pharisees, who warred against the truth, who warred against Christ, were setting before him.
In the case of the man born blind, all his life had been but a preparation for his meeting with Christ. Not only was his soul pure enough, refined by his lifelong handicap, to receive healing from the Lord, but also he confessed Him as the Son of God, thus making the works of God manifest in himself.
The Church, telling us today about this miracle of the Savior, at the same time chants in the person of each of us: “Blind with my spiritual eyes, I come to you, O Christ, like one born blind.” Not long ago we prayed to our Lord intensively: “Grant that I may see my own sins.” If we ask to see, to be able to see our sins it means we cannot see them as well as is needed. This is because our “spiritual eyes” are blind.
The idea of reincarnation completely contradicts biblical teaching. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Heb. 9:27–28). The emphasis in this citation is on the words that in both the Old and New Testaments are at the theological core of the teaching on human life and death: to die but once.
Not all of us have the same calling. We must be both wise as serpents and innocent as doves. All are called to pray; some are called to suffer and show meekness; some are called to give relief to those who are in distress because of society’s current blindnesses; others are called, in knowledge of the system’s ways and laws, to champion the liberties that we have, and so give encouragement to others.
It is so easy for people to be blind to the truth about themselves. It is not hard to notice when others do not see the truth about what they do, but it is often quite difficult to notice our own blindness.
And He performed a sign which was not adventitious, but one which took place then for the first time: Never since the world began has it been heard that someone opened the eyes of a person born blind. Someone may, perhaps, have opened the eyes of a blind person, but not of anyone blind from birth.