Jesus is also asking you: ““What do you want me to do for you?”

30th Sunday of the Year - B

Jeremiah 31: 7-9; Psalm 125; Heb. 5: 1-6; Mark 10: 46-52

Read: As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, there was a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say: “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” Many of them scolded him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the louder: “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said: “Call him here.” So, they called the blind man and told him: “Courage! Get up; he is calling you.” Throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him: “What do you want me to do for you?” “Rabbuni”, the blind man said to him: “Master, let me see again.” Jesus said to him: “Go; your faith has saved you.” And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.”

Reflect: Once Jesus admonished his disciples saying: “Do you still not understand, still not realise? How hard-headed can you be? You have eyes and yet cannot see?” (Mark 8:17-18) In today’s extract from the Gospel, Bartimaeus likens the disciple who finally opens his eyes to the light of his Master and decides to continue “following him along the road”. Bartimaeus’ meeting with Christ makes him throw off his cloak …… his only possession.

This means that he was no longer interested in the sort of life he had been living until then. His meeting with Christ and his light placed him in a difficult situation. Before that Bartimaeus was sitting, now he began to walk; before he had “his profession” of a beggar which, good or bad, provided for his food, now he had to find a way of living an altogether new way of life; before he had a place where to live amongst people known to him and with his friends; now he had to venture afield and this seemed risky.

Anyone wishing to come to Christ should not delude himself by thinking that he will be leading a comfortable life without any worries. Bartimaeus’ experience shows us that the  walk awaited by those who receive the light is not an easy one; this makes the one concerned change what he is used to do, his behaviour and his friendships. This demands that one’s life, time and possessions are conducted in a radically new way. Whoever wishes to be enlightened by Christ needs to choose between his old cloak and the light.

Pray: Jesus is also asking you: ““What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus first asked for mercy, and then asked to be healed. What are you going to ask for? Your immediate needs ……. or firstly you are going to ask him to increase your faith in him, in his power, in his love?

Act: With a view to our recognizing our failings, and to ask the Lord to show us His light, we need to admit that we are all, in some way or another, “blind”. Then we will be able to throw off our “cloak” and to choose a new life lightened by Christ.

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