Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: By the side of the road we cry out

Our lives are full of images. There are images on TV, on the computer, on the tablet, on the phone. We spend our lives focusing on so many images that we miss that which we need to see, the Presence of Our Lord.

Oct 28, 2018

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-9
Hebrew 5:1-6
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52

“Master, I want to see.”

Jesus passes the blind man. Bartimaeus can only hear the commotion.

“Master, I want to see.”

Our lives are full of images. There are images on TV, on the computer, on the tablet, on the phone. We spend our lives focusing on so many images that we miss that which we need to see, the Presence of Our Lord.

“Master, I want to see.”

Jesus walked by blind Bartimaeus. There was no time for Bartimaeus to hesitate. If he did not take advantage of the presence of the Lord now, he would have remained blind forever.

“Master, I want to see.”

We do not know how many opportunities we will have to respond to the presence of the Lord. Sometimes the doors he opens for us are only opened momentarily. A teenager hears a subtle challenge to the faith in school and asks his parents why their family is Catholic, why they believe what they believe. How they could believe. The opportunity is right then to nurture his faith. A neighbour is looking for someone to speak to. He/she is lonely. His world feels so empty. She misses her husband so much. When they want to chat, we can take a few moments and bring Christ’s love to them. A husband, a wife is discouraged. The spouse must be supportive now, not later. It is easy to say, “I have so much of my own stuff that I am dealing with.” That is not what marriage is. Marriage is dealing with each other’s stuff. And caring for her, for him. That’s the sacrificial love that makes marriage a sacrament, a real presence of Jesus Christ. The Lord only gives us so many opportunities in life. We only have so much time to take advantage of each of them.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Blind Bartimaeus calls out to the Lord invoking the name of David. David the great king. David the unifier of the Jewish people. David who was promised a reign that would never end. David who was told that one of his descendants would be greater than he was, greater than he could ever imagine.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

The world longed for the Saviour who has been given to us. Jesus the Christ is the one who brings order into the chaos of our lives. He is the Great King, the King of kings. He is the focal point of the history of mankind. He is the Son of David and the Eternal Word of the Father. And he is reaching out to us.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Bartimaeus realised that he was at the bottom of his society. No one had use for a blind beggar. He was in the way. When Jesus walked by, Bartimaeus made a nuisance of himself. “Quiet down, Bartimaeus. You’re embarrassing us.” But he was not embarrassing Jesus. Jesus saw him, hurt for him, called him, and had mercy on him.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

People want to convince us that we are numbers. They want to convince us that God is too great for us, that we are too insignificant. But no one is insignificant to God. Jesus sees each of us and loves each of us. “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Bartimaeus’ society had no use for the blind. They were forced to beg for food. But Jesus saw Bartimaeus, and hurt for him and healed him. Our society has no use for many people in many stressful circumstances. They may be infected with a terrible disease. They may be starving in a country in Africa or South America. They may be mentally ill in America. Our streets are too full of the homeless, the mentally ill. Shame on us. But Jesus sees all. He hurts for each of us. He reaches out to heal us. He calls. We must go to him.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Bartimaeus realised that only Jesus could heal him. He had faith in the Lord. His faith is the basis of Jesus’
mercy.

“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Some of us suffer from injuries we have inflicted upon ourselves. Some of us suffer from the way we have been treated by others. Some of us suffer from ailments caused by no one but just resulting from our human condition. We have heart problems. We have cancer. We are caring for a relative with dementia. We are beside ourselves with our problems and we wonder where can we possibly turn. Jesus passes by and says “Have faith in me.”

“He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

The eternal Father appointed his Son, Jesus, to care for his people. He pleads with his Father every day for every one of us. We are significant because Jesus knows us and loves us and brings our needs to his Father. He is our eternal priest, forever, like Melchizedek. We have nothing to fear, ever.

Today’s first reading proclaims: “Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD loves his people.”
God loves us.

Today and every day we proclaim his love to the world. He has had mercy on us. He has given us the gift of sight, the gift of seeing his love in our lives.

We have been blessed. We join Bartimaeus who, immediately after he received his sight, followed Jesus on the Lord’s way to Jerusalem. We join Bartimaeus, following the Lord on a new path of greatness, a path of sacrificial love, a path that leads to a New World that is the Kingdom of God. -- By Msgr Joseph A Pellegrino

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