The encounter with the man born blind takes place as a series of interconnected scenes, almost as if a staged drama, with the excitement building at the ends with Jesus’ seeking the man out, with the denouement and judgment at the hands of the Pharisees. The principal characters are Jesus, the blind man, the parents, the Pharisees, and the crowd (neighbors and disciples), the last two being the choruses. The language throughout is the language of amazement, surprise at the turn of events, disbelief/believe, and astonishment, all followed by worship.

This “worship” or “latria” needs a bit of unpacking. From the Greek, it is somewhat related to the concept of “pay”. In Catholtic theology the word designated the veneration due to God (the Trinity ) alone. In other words it means an ultimate and decisive act of submission, a physical posture of prostration (proskynesis), and the language of praise and prayer, most richly in music/chant. It’s what we are to give God. It is the final act of the man born blind in the drama we read this coming Sunday. Lent is a time to recover and renew this worship and open our eyes to the presence of the divine.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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