Is it finished?

Homily 264 – Sixth Sunday of Pascha (Man Born Blind)
Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, Ames, Iowa
May 21, 2017

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Christ is Risen!

The Gospel goes to great lengths to tell us that the blind man, healed by our Lord, was born blind.

The parents of the man were questioned at length – as was the man himself. The Church tells us, by the way, that his name was Celidonius. One tradition indicates he founded the Church at Nimes (nim) in Gaul, modern day south of France.

But Celidonius was born blind. The emphasis on this was intentional. Very intentional.

He was born imperfect.

Of course, we are all born imperfect – we are all fallen. But Celidonius was born with a very visible reminder of his imperfection.

And he did not ask people to simply accept the way God created him. He cried out to Christ for mercy.

Today, we simply accommodate, accept, even celebrate our imperfections. Our fallen-ness.

We want to believe we are perfect. We want to believe that we are blameless, without reproach. That we are self-sufficient on our own.

Because we, unlike Celidonius, are too proud to admit our imperfections. Too proud to call out to our Creator – our God – for healing.

But we aren’t perfect. Celidonius wasn’t. None of us are. If we believe we are, then God help us. Literally. We will never seek our healing, our completion.

Let me be clear, though. There is no reason to ridicule, or mock, or demean the imperfections of others. Even the ones they don’t recognize.

Even their moral failures. The one’s we are all blind toward.

Our eyes are full of lumber – forget about the splinters.

So – Celidonius was, like all of us, born imperfect. Why?

Jesus answers that question – so that the works of God might be revealed in him.

So, the Lord, the Creator of the cosmos, proceeds to create. He makes clay from saliva and dirt – the stuff of our own creation.

From dust to dust. The name “Adam” may be a word play on the Hebrew word adamah meaning “earth.”

In any event – the Lord makes clay, and places it where the eyes should be, and creates eyes for Celidonius.

Because, brothers and sisters, as St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote: the work of God is fashioning the human being.

St. Irenaeus writes:

For that which the artificer, the Word, had omitted to form in the womb, he then supplied in public that the works of God might be manifested in him, in order that we might not seek out another hand by which the human being is fashioned, nor another Father, knowing that this Hand of God which formed us in the beginning, and which does form us in the womb, has in the last times sought us out who were lost, winning us back to his own, and taking up the lost sheep upon his shoulders, and with joy, restoring it to the fold of life.

That we might not seek out another hand by which the human being is fashioned, nor another Father.

Do we seek another Father, besides our Creator and Lord? I submit that most of us do. We seek our Father in ourselves, in our acceptance by society, in our vanity.

And it always – without exception – ends in failure.

The only healing – the only creation – comes from the Creator. Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The only Being – the only Existing one – that has the ability to Create. From Earth – or from nothing.

The one who on the Cross said “It is finished” – creation is completed. Salvation, healing, perfection, are all now made part of who we are and who we may become.

This healing reveals itself in the washing at the pool – the Baptismal pool. That washing completes everything missing in us.

Physically, and spiritually.

So that we also may say with Christ, it is – I am – finished.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Christ is Risen!