The prophet Samuel comes to Bethlehem to choose a new king from the family of Jesse. He rejects Jesse’s oldest son because “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” With this single statement, the Word of God unmasks much of the world’s blindness.
We look at poor people and see nothing other than rundown houses and littered streets. We look at the homeless and see nothing other than dirty faces and ragged clothes. We look at people who are different from us and we see nothing other than the color of their skin or the way they manipulate their bodily limbs.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus, the light of the world, takes away the man’s blindness. This wonderful story challenges us to “live as children of light.”
Our Lenten prayer and sacrifice should serve to take away our blindness so that we can look into the hearts of others and love them as brothers and sisters. It “should turn hatred to love, conflict to peace, death to eternal life.” It should enable us to say with the blind man: “I can see and I believe in God.”
God’s word proclaims the oneness of the human family—from the first words of Genesis, to the ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ of the Book of Revelation. God’s word in Genesis announces that all men and women are created in God’s image; not just some races and racial types, but all bear the imprint of the Creator and are enlivened by the breath of his one Spirit.
U.S. Bishops, Brothers and Sisters to Us,1979: 25.