Volume II

Please support the mission of
the Dominican Friars.

1st Impressions CD's
Stories Seldom Heard
Faith Book
General Intercessions
Volume II
Come and See!
Homilías Dominicales
Palabras para Domingo
Catholic Women Preach
Homilias Breves
Daily Reflections
Daily Homilette
Daily Preaching
Face to Face
Book Reviews
Justice Preaching
Dominican Preaching
Preaching Essay
The Author

Contents: Volume 2 - 4th Sunday of Lent
Year A
March 19, 2023








1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP

2. -- Dennis Keller

3. --

4. --(Your reflection can be here!)





Lent 4 A 2023

Our readings this 4th Sunday of Lent are about darkness and light. We all know that our Baptism connects us closely with the Source of Light, Jesus. Staying connected to Jesus and away from sin is our life's journey with lots of ups and downs.

In thinking about coming out of darkness into the light physically, lots of visuals flooded my brain. Sometimes we put up our arms or hands in front of us to defend our sensitive eyes from the sudden brightness. Sometimes we squint. Sometimes we have to open closed eyes very slowly. Sometimes we need sunglasses.

For me, it is the same kind of thing spiritually. Although walking the journey closely with the Light of the World is the best source of spiritual nourishment, I have to go easy to accept the brightness. I need the God of multiple chances to assist by allowing me to use spiritual sunglasses. The God of Sunglasses gives me the graces I need a little at a time, mixed-up with those inevitable times of shade and blinking, to move ahead, one baby step at a time. Yes, there is an occasional use of eye drops, too, and tears.

What are your spiritual sunglasses? Some of mine include prayer, Scripture, like-minded friends who encourage me, and helping others on their journey by mentoring or walking with them. I have to stop along the way to be sure I remember how much I am loved/ nourished myself though, by the growth potential aided by the Son. Sometimes the heat is a bit much or I feel withered from the strain of life. A cold washcloth reminds me that I am human... and sometimes I just have to sit in the shade and watch God do it all. The vineyard does not belong to me after all!


Dr. Lanie LeBlanc OP

Southern Dominican Laity





Fourth Sunday of Lent March 19, 2023

1st Samuel 16:1 & 6-7 & 10-13; Responsorial Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; Gospel Acclamation John 8:12; John 9:1-41

The first reading is interesting. It is written pretty much the perspective of God directing Samuel to point a replacement for the fallen King, the first king of Israel, Saul. The main characters are Samuel, Jesse the father of eight sons, seven sons who do not meet God’s expectations. And then there’s a shepherd boy, a young lad who isn’t at home but out in the mountain pastures watching the flock and shagging stones with his sling. He’s only a boy, not yet a man. David was surprised when called from watching his father’s sheep. When he came into Samuel’s presence and had oil poured on his head he must have a thought, "Hey this is way cool!" The honor of being anointed for what he had little to no understanding was a great ego trip. "Now let me get back to the flock before the predators snatch away the lambs." This was the beginning of success after success, often followed by terrible decisions that caused others pain and even death. But, it is clear from the Psalms and Rabbinic literature, that this adolescent was God’s instrument in unifying and advancing the faith of the nation. A kid, chosen to be king, is a highly unlikely choice. Certainly, the expectations of the nation were ignored by God.

Expectations arising in human imagination are often contradicted by God’s plan. David, not in his wildest imaginings, ever thought of becoming the cherished leader of his tribe, let alone the whole nation.

The events in the gospel this Sunday are during the seven day feast of Tabernacles, in Hebrew called Succoth. That celebration was the time of Succah. The Succah is a temporary shelter, a tent, a hut used for a time; not a permanent dwelling. This feast is a celebration, a remembering of the time when Moses led the Hebrew tribes in the forty year trek in the desert to the promised land. It was also connected with the fall harvest. The connection of the temporary dwelling commemorating the desert wanderings to the harvest is that the tent dwellings brought the nation to the promised land where the land brought forth food and nourishment and permanency. It was a passing through, much like later the Cross of Jesus is a passing through death to resurrection. Here is a lesson for us. The suffering of physical pain as on Calvary, and the suffering of spirit/mental pain as in Gethsemane is a passing through for us into mini-resurrections leading to our final resurrection after passing through dying, through death into eternity.

Jesus, in the gospel narrative, is leaving the temple. Because Succoth is one of the three pilgrimage feasts when all who were able came to Jerusalem to worship and sacrifice at the temple, it was a time when beggars gathered around the temple for the almsgiving of pilgrims. Typically, Jesus responds to a request for healing. It is strange that Jesus responds to the man’s blindness. There is no plea from the blind man or friends or family. The disciples see this man and wonder aloud whether his blindness is because of his sin or the sin of his parents. Any infirmity in the religious culture prevalent in Judah was thought to be the result of sin: the individual’s or the parents. Jesus puts that misunderstanding to rest. The suffering of anyone – then and now – is not necessarily retribution for sin. Jesus makes it possible for us to avoid such judgements and thus respond with mercy and compassion.

Jesus’ response to the disciples seems a loaded response. It is more than, "No, his blindness is not about sin. It is so that God’s works might be made visible through him." There is more here than taking away physical blindness. Here is a lesson plan for us – so that we may see the presence of God in our midst. Jesus spits on the ground and makes mud, a soggy mass of clay, and smears it on the blind man’s eyes. This image calls to mind the story in Genesis of one of the narratives humanity’s creation. God formed a figure of man out of clay wetted by flowing water and breathed into that lump his breath. Jesus sent this blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam. That pool’s name is Siloam which means "Sent." There is a double meaning here. The blind man is sent. And Jesus is sent from the Father to heal human blindness. That pool was used for ritual cleansing. Anyone who was unclean because of violation of the laws of purity would come to that pool and bath and be made clean of the violation.

This man blind from birth is not named. Even though his parents, his neighbors, and those who knew him as the blind beggar would have a name for him. Yet his is unnamed so that we who hear this narrative realize this is about our blindness. We too are sent by the one Sent by the Father to wash. We who have been baptized are washed of our attraction to blindness that lacks truth. That is one of John’s messages.

John wants us to know that the law of Moses is a starting point. To clearly see the light we need to revert to our creation – the Genesis story – and wash in waters that purify us – Baptism. We also are sent. The story goes on. The man is questioned by Neighbors and he answers, "The man called Jesus did this." The man born blind doesn’t know where Jesus is. That’s pretty much like us as we begin our faith journey. We do not exactly know where to find Jesus. The plan is that we move past this lack of knowledge.

He is questioned by the Pharisees. They claim that since Jesus does not keep the Sabbath he is a sinner. The man born blind’s response is straightforward. "How can a sinful man do such signs." Then he adds, "He is a prophet."

His parents are questioned. They don’t want to become involved and be excommunicated from the synagogue. So they tell the questioners to ask their son since he is old enough to testify. The Pharisees tell the man born blind they are disciples of Moses. The man born blind responds that Jesus is from God since the sight has never been given anyone born blind. "If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything." The man born blind comes to a new understanding of Jesus, that he comes from God.

When the man encounters Jesus, Jesus asks about his faith. The man responds he believes Jesus is the Son of Man, a common title for the Messiah.

Here there is an evident progression. His first response is "The Man Jesus." Secondly "he is a prophet. Third, "he is from God." Fourth "he is the Son of Man." The fifth and last response is not an answer to a question but to the light of faith his experience brought him. The man born blind worships Jesus. Only God can be worshipped. The fifth response is the light of faith to which this man has been led that Jesus is divine. Truly this is an enlightenment. The light of God has dawned in this man’s spirit.

Jesus runs into the Pharisees who want his judgment. "Surely we are not also blind, are we?" Jesus puts it back to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you are saying, ‘we see,’ so your sin remains."

Our response, our take-away from this narrative brings us to choices. Are experiencing faith as this man born blind? Are we with the disciples looking to assign sin to another? Are we neighbors who just walk away? Are we parents afraid of losing our social standing by speaking truth? Are we the man born blind who realizes gradually and continually a greater understanding of Jesus and how he affects our living? Are we patient enough to know that experiences bring us to an ultimate relationship with God? Are we willing to fall to our knees and worship?

The light of which Paul writes in the reading from Ephesians has a commanding ending that is applicable to our living. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." This reminds us of Jesus’ response when asked why he had come, what was the purpose of his ministry, his preaching, his healing. "I came that you may have life and have it fully." These last days of Lent are for us to continue on our way, our pilgrimage to fullness of life in the here and now and carried forward into eternity.

Dennis Keller









Volume 2 is for you. Your thoughts, reflections, and insights on the next Sundays readings can influence the preaching you hear. Send them to  Deadline is Wednesday Noon. Include your Name, and Email Address.

-- Fr. John Boll, OP


If you would like to support this ministry, please send tax deductible contributions to Fr. Jude Siciliano, OP.

Make checks payable to: Dominican Friars.

St. Albert Priory, 3150 Vince Hagan Drive, Irving, Texas 75062-4736

Or, go to our webpage to make an online donation:


To UN-subscribe or Subscribe, email "Fr. John J. Boll, OP." <>


-- Go to  Where you will find "Preachers' Exchange," which includes "First Impressions" and "Homilías Dominicales," as well as articles, book reviews and quotes pertinent to preaching.

-- Also "Daily Reflections" and "Daily Bread." and many other resources.

A service of The Order of Preachers, The Dominicans.

Province of St. Martin De Porres

(Southern Dominican Province, USA)

P.O. Box 8129, New Orleans, LA 70182

(504) 837-2129 ● Fax (504) 837-6604

(form revised 2020-09-23)

Volume II Archive

We keep up to six articles in this archive.  The latest is always listed first.


HOME Contact Us Site Map St. Dominic

© Copyright 2005 - 2023 - Dominican Friars