“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

Scripture Readings:
1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13.
Psalm 23:1-6.
Ephesians 5:8-14.
John 9:1-41.

This Sunday’s readings present Jesus as a shepherd who illumines the way for us.

In today’s first reading we hear of the election of David, son of Jesse, as Israel’s anointed King. When the prophet Samuel chooses David, Jesse’s youngest son, and anoints him, we hear of the spirit of the Lord rushing upon him (2 Samuel 16:13), in a similar way to the spirit descending upon Jesus in his baptism (see Mt 3:16). A similar thing also happens to us in our baptism.

At the time of his election, David was a shepherd boy, and as such prefigures Jesus our shepherd King. This is what we sing in today’s Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps 23:1). With Jesus our true shepherd, Saint Paul proclaims in today’s second reading, we “were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord” (Eph 5:8). As our shepherd, Jesus illumines our way and guides us through life.

The light brought by Jesus is shown in today’s Gospel, in which we hear of a man born blind. This man represents all humanity. “Born totally in sin,” Jesus not only restores the man’s physical sight but enlightens him with the light of faith to see Jesus as the Lord. In believing him to be Lord, the man then worships Jesus (John 9:38). The light of faith is bestowed on us in baptism, after which we declare Jesus to be the Lord God.

As with this once-blind man, we too give God the praise for bringing us out of the darkness of sin and into his own wonderful light, proclaiming with this man: “I do believe, Lord.”

Artwork: ‘Christ Cures the Blind Man’ by Mathieu Ignace van Bree (1773-1839).

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