St Joseph Church, Pinole - Pastor's Messages

Pastor's Messages from Father Geoffrey Baraan


     March 19, 2023


My dear friends in Christ,

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. It is also called the “Laetare Sunday” to remind us to be joyful in our observance of Lent! And our journey continues: From EMPTINESS TO FULLNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST!

There is no question that most people with handicap feel rejected and lacking confidence. People tend to shy away from them. They make fun of them, making them feel so small as if they have no dignity or the right to exist in our society.

Today we hear the story of the blind man who become a disciple of Jesus. He too was a man born with limitations, but God made him an instrument of his glory.

Here was a man who was in the dark and now was given the gift of sight. His life was limited and always depending on someone else. In fact, he was seen as a burden to his family. As he grew older, he began to feel his family’s resentment of him. So, he went away not knowing what to do and where to go. But despite everything, he made his way to the city, becoming a beggar. This is when Jesus saw him……. And this is when his life was forever changed. His life of despair was changed to a life of hope. His life of darkness was changed to a life of light. He was blind and now can see

There is no question that there are many dark moments in our life. But during darkness, there is the “powerful light” sent by our God as a sign of his love. In the gospel today, Jesus declares, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world! As Jesus’ disciples were watching in silence, he delivered the blind man from the world of darkness into the world of freedom and light.

The blind man wanted to see. But the Pharisees refused to see!

Perhaps by giving the sight of the blind man, Jesus was trying to open the eyes and the hearts of the Pharisees. We have to understand that since the beginning of his public ministry, the Pharisees have a hard time with Jesus’ actions. He cannot be the one. They did everything to discredit him. They were opposed to everything he did!

The Pharisees were given many opportunities to wonder, to stop, to appreciate, and to see the beauty of God’s creation and the power of love in Jesus. They were so blinded by their own pride and arrogance. They chose to live in the darkness of their stubbornness and pride. They missed the opportunity!

My friends, the Pharisees have long disappeared from the scene, but there are thousands and thousands of us, who are still blinded by the same pride and prejudice who refused to see the of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. What happened? Why can’t we see? What makes us blind?

St Paul says, “Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth!” 

May our Lenten journey, FROM EMPTINESS TO FULLNESS OF LIFE IN CHRIST, be a source of light and hope, of grace and beauty! Let your empty life be filled with God’s love and the presence of Christ so that together we will enjoy the fullness of life at the waters of Easter when Jesus will emerge victorious from death and darkness!

Again, thank you for being a “cheerful giver!”


In Christ,

Fr. Geoffrey

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