If you’ve ever wondered what the church teaches about conversion, all you have to do is look at the Sunday Gospel readings for Lent this year. Throughout this season, we are presented with the truth that conversion is centered on a personal encounter with Jesus that moves us to surrender our lives to him.
The first two Sundays recounted Jesus’ temptation and transfiguration, giving us the whole gospel message in miniature. We see Jesus both as the one who took all of our sins upon himself and who ushered in a new creation by his resurrection.
Then, each of the next three Sundays illustrates a different dimension of what happens when we accept Jesus into our hearts. Last week focused on the Samaritan woman’s decision to turn from sin and to receive Jesus as the giver of the water of life. All her previous attempts to find love had failed, and she saw that only Jesus could give her what she longed for.
This week’s story of the man born blind tells us how vital it is that we come to “see” Jesus in a whole new light and confess him as Lord. Having his physical sight restored was only the beginning of the blind man’s journey. His heart had to be awakened as well, just as our hearts must be. And that’s the question we are left with today: Do I know Jesus in my heart? Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to show me more of who Jesus is? At Mass today, ask for that revelation. Tell the Father that you want to echo the once-blind man: “I do believe, Lord!” (John 9:38).
Next Sunday’s reading—the raising of Lazarus—will focus on Jesus’ promise that all who give their lives to him will be raised from the dead. And it will focus on Martha’s dawning belief that Jesus is the Son of God (John 11:27). May we all echo her confession and know the new life that comes through conversion!