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March 10th, 2002
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March 10th, 2002

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Fourth Sunday in Lent Jn 9/1-41


If there is some reason to think that last Sunday's Gospel was a one-act play that some of the very early Christians staged, there is much more reason to believe that today's story of the man born blind is an early example of theological drama. It would be a mistake, however, to read it merely as an expression of sorrow by early Christians who had been thrown out of the synagogue to which they felt they belonged because there was no incompatibility with synagogue membership and following Jesus. It is also a drama about the qualities it takes to see and to see through human phonies wherever one encounters it. If it were not for phonies (that is men to whom power and institution meant more than religion) on both sides, the tragic separation of Church and Synagogue might never have happened.

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Once upon a time, a group of popular teenagers at a local high school began to ostracize certain people based on the way they dressed or how they talked or if they seemed too studious. Only the "acceptable" teens were invited to the activities planned by this group. Eventually these teens controlled the social climate of the school. There were those who were "in" and those who were "out." Many of those who were "out" suffered from this designation. One day a girl who was one of the leaders of the "in" group began to work on a science project with two students she had never socialized with because they were not part of her group. This girl had never stopped to consider how the school was divided but when her friends mocked the students she was working with, she felt ashamed of her role in designating others as "out." She tried to point out to her friends that their attitude toward these students was harmful for the whole school. None of her "friends" would listen to her and eventually they began to ignore her just as they ignored those they considered "out." Initially, the girl was hurt but then it dawned on her that those who were "out" were much more supportive of each other, encouraging their friends to be the best they could. So she began to take pride in being "in" with the "out" group.

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So she began to take pride in being "in" with the "out" group

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