Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Jesus spit on the ground ... "

Back in August, I shared how my eleven year-old son helped me get back into the practice of reading Scripture each night before I went to bed.  A couple of thoughts occurred to me last night as I read an acount of one of Jesus' miracles in the Gospel of John:  
[Jesus said,] "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man [who was blind from birth]'s eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing." (Jn.9:5-7)
 It is an amazing miracle - but what's with the saliva, right? Last night my mind traveled back to the Bible's earliest chapters:  "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Gen.2:7).  When Jesus healed the man born blind, it was as if He was perfecting what had been askew in the in utero development of this man's ability to see.  In this simple action of combining His saliva - the saliva of the God-Man - with the dust of the ground, the Lord was recalling the Creation Story.  And then He took it to the next level.

By sending the man to wash in the Pool of Siloam, Jesus gave us a sign of Baptism that raises us above natural life, to supernatural!  The waters of Baptism restore us to the dignity of Children of God - the gift given to, but lost, by our first parents.  They impart the supernatural life of the God-Man to our own souls and begin the process that will ultimately lead to the healing of all of our bodily ills as well, in the Resurrection!  Jesus' saliva mixed with the dust, the waters of Siloam - it all speaks of how God uses the things of this world to impart not just natural, but supernatural life!  It's the sacramental principle.

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