We humans are quick to equate suffering with karma or sin and believe there is a cause and effect relationship between the two. The disciples of Jesus, thought the same way, and asked Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” replied Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:1-3).

Jesus viewed the plight of this man as an opportunity to do God’s work.

It is heartening to note that Jesus took the initiative. The blind man did not come searching for Jesus, pleading to be healed. Jesus applied mud on the man’s eyes and asked him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam; “the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” (v.v. 6-7).

The man responded in faith and received his miracle. Both the grace of Jesus and the faith of the man born blind, in Jesus’ words, were at work. Jesus was showing through this healing that suffering, instead of being a barrier between us and God and one another, can be a bridge. God redeems suffering by turning darkness into light and bringing goodness out of evil.

Jesus healed the sick, signifying that He inaugurated the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the giver of eternal life, by His grace, to all those who turn to him and freely receive their forgiveness and freedom, for we cannot earn eternal life by our good works. In Jesus is life, which is the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5). Life does not come from impersonal matter or impersonal energy. Jesus gives new life, spiritual life, which is found in vital union with him. Let’s follow Jesus’ way of grace and truth in reaching out to love and serve suffering humanity.