Lent Four, Year A

Musical Reflection
Still a Believer by Nataly Dawn


Creator and Healer,
root of all goodness,
working your Sabbath will
in the chaos of our life:
teach us the insight
that gives true judgement
and praises you
wherever you are found,
making miracles
from spit and mud;
through Jesus Christ, the Child of earth.
First Reading

by Marin Sorescu

Oh you saints,
Let me enter your society,

If only as a statistician.
You’re old,

Perhaps the years are
Getting you down by now,
Laying themselves over you

In layers of color.
Just let me take care

Of your dirty work in

All the nooks and crannies.
For example I could

Swallow light
At the Last Supper
And exhale your halos

After the devotionals.
From time to time,

At a distance of half a wall,
I could
Form my hands into a horn
And shout,
Now for the believers,
Now for the unbelievers
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Second Reading
A Blasphemy
by Maurice Manning

You wouldn’t have believed it, how

the man, a little touched perhaps,
set his hands together and prayed

for happiness, yet not his own;
he meant his people, by which he meant

not people really, but trees and cows,
the dirty horses, dogs, the fox

who lived at the back of his place with her kits,
and the very night who settled down

to rock his place to sleep, the place
he tried so hard to tend he found

he mended fences in his sleep.
He said to the you above, who, let’s

be honest, doesn’t say too much,
I need you now up there to give

my people happiness, you let
them smile and know the reason; hear

my prayer, Old Yam. The you who’s you
might laugh at that, and I agree,

it’s funny to make a prayer like that,
the down-home words and yonder reach

of what he said; and calling God
the Elder Sweet Potato, shucks,

that’s pretty funny, and kind of sad.


Gospel Reading 1
John 9:1-41

As Jesus walked along, he saw someone who was blind from birth. Jesus’s disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this person or his parents?”

Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed. While it’s daytime, we must do the works of the one who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the person’s eyes. Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the person went away and washed. When he returned, he could see.

The person’s neighbours and those who used to see him when he was a beggar said, “Isn’t this the person who used to sit and beg?”

Some said, “It is,” and others said, “No, it’s someone who looks like him.”

But the person said, “Yes, it’s me!”

So they asked him, “How are you now able to see?”

He answered, “The one they call Jesus made mud, smeared it on my eyes, and said, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

They asked, “Where is this person?”

He replied, “I don’t know.”

Then they led the person who had been born blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus made the mud and smeared it on the person’s eyes on a Sabbath day. So Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.

The person told them, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”

Some Pharisees said, “This person isn’t from God, because he breaks the Sabbath law.” Others said, “How can a sinner do miraculous signs like these?” So they were divided. Some of the Pharisees questioned the person who had been born blind again: “What do you have to say about him, since he healed your eyes?”

He replied, “He’s a prophet.”

The Jewish leaders didn’t believe the person had been blind and received his sight until they called for his parents. The Jewish leaders asked them, “Is this your child? Are you saying he was born blind? How can he now see?”

His parents answered, “We know he is our child. We know he was born blind. But we don’t know how he now sees, and we don’t know who healed his eyes. Ask him. He’s old enough to speak for himself.” His parents said this because they feared the Jewish authorities. This is because the Jewish authorities had already decided that whoever confessed Jesus to be the Christ would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why his parents said, “He’s old enough. Ask him.”

Therefore, they called a second time for the person who had been born blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know this person is a sinner.”

The person answered, “I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. Here’s what I do know: I was blind and now I see.”

They questioned him: “What did he do to you? How did he heal your eyes?”

He replied, “I already told you, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

They insulted him: “You are his disciple, but we are Moses’s disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this person is from.”

The person answered, “This is incredible! You don’t know where he is from, yet he healed my eyes! We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners. God listens to anyone who is devout and does God’s will. No one has ever heard of a healing of the eyes of someone born blind. If this person wasn’t from God, he couldn’t do this.”

They responded, “You were born completely in sin! How is it that you dare to teach us?” Then they expelled him.

Jesus heard they had expelled the man born blind. Finding him, Jesus said, “Do you believe in the Human One?”

He answered, “Who is this? I want to believe in the Human One.”

Jesus said, “You have seen him. In fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

The man said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Jesus.

Jesus said, “I have come into the world to exercise judgement so that those who don’t see can see and those who see will become blind.”

Some Pharisees who were with him heard what he said and asked, “Surely we aren’t blind, are we?”

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you wouldn’t have any sin, but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

Musical Reflection

Believer by Chantal Kreviazuk

 Zoroastrian Prayer
from Zend-Avestas, adapted
The Creator, Lord of Light, we praise you.
The Teacher, Lord of Purity, we praise you.
The day-times we praise.
The pure water we praise.
The stars, the moon, the sun, the tress we praise…
The well-created animals we praise.
We praise all good people; we praise all good people.
We praise you, our dwelling-place, O Earth.
We praise you, O God, Lord of the dwelling place.

The Lord’s Prayer

O presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!
We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.
And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.
For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever.


Musical Reflection
Believer by American Authors

Brigid’s Blessing

God bless our food;
God bless our drink.
And keep our homes
and ourselves
in Your embrace,
O God.

And may the blessing of God – God above us, God beside us, and God beneath us,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Artwork by Kilian Eng

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Still a Believer by Nataly Dawn

Poem Prayer by Marin Sorescu

Poem A Blasphemy by Maurice Manning

Musical Reflection Believer by Chantal Kreviazuk

Prayer from Zoroastrian Zend-Avestas

Lord’s Prayer by Paul Alan Laughlin

Musical Reflection Believer by American Authors

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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