The following homily was delivered by Bishop Irenei on the Sunday of the Blind Man, the final Sunday of Pascha, at the Diocesan Cathedral in London, 16th / 29th May 2022.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

My beloved fathers, brothers and sisters: Christ is risen!

There was a man who could not see; and then, he could see (cf. John 9.25).

There is, in this miraculous reality, something so clear and profound, something that encapsulates the whole of our Christian hope so precisely, that this story has remained at the heart of the Church’s testimony since the first generations. It is the reason that it is selected as the Gospel reading for this final Sunday of Pascha: the last great account that the Church gives us in the season of Christ’s Resurrection, before we lay aside our Paschal hymns and greetings and behold the Lord ascending to His Father.

There was a man who could not see; and then, he could see.

The hope of the Christian is to obtain sight, where there is blindness. To obtain speech, where there is dumbness. To obtain wisdom, where there is foolishness. To obtain life, where there is death. To grasp what cannot be grasped — and which, with each day and year that we pass in this life, we realise all the more clearly we cannot ourselves obtain. For we cannot give eyes to those who have none; we cannot give speech where none is possible. All the learning in the world is not enough to make a fool wise, only to give him information. And there is not one in this life who can give life in place of death.

But there was a man who could not see; and then, he could see.

We long for eternity; but eternity is beyond our power. We crave true life: genuine love, real holiness, miraculous grace. And yet we see our hearts filled with darkness, our world defined by a lack of love, and humankind all but devoid of holiness, rejecting grace — and all that we long for seems so impossible.

But there was a man…

Are you ready to believe this miracle? This is what the Church is asking us today. Are you prepared to understand what God reveals through it? For His message, given to us in the account of this healing, is clear: what is impossible for man, is possible for Him (cf. Luke 18.27). That which He gives is beyond what the world can give, or even expect. The Life in Christ is a mystery, a miracle, in which life itself is utterly changed, transformed, into an image of the glory of God, Who is the Giver of sight, the Giver of life; who is love incarnate, hope made manifest, and truth given a face.

Before we bid farewell to this season of Pascha, let us, each of us, ensure we are fortified in the saving faith in this wonderful reality. God can transform your life; He longs to do it. He came into this world because He knew one day you would stand here within it, with a life that is broken and weak, that He can make whole. The world may crucify, but God raises up. You may be so darkened by your sufferings and sins and sorrows and confusions that it all becomes like a great cloud that seeps into your eyes and renders you unable to see anything good, or any hope at all — that renders you, as it were, blind.

But there was a man who could not see; and then, he could see.

Be prepared, by beloved brethren, for God to open your eyes, also.