'Jesus is coming!' A blind man's 'shout out' to new life
Reflections on the readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 28, 2018): JER 31:7-9; PS 126: 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; HEB 5:1-6; MK 10:46-52
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Unlike a number of the people Christ met on His preaching journeys, Bartimaeus was ready for Him.
The blind man was had obviously heard of Jesus. He probably knew that He was a miracle worker, but also, surely, that Jesus of Nazareth had a message of hope for eternal life. At first, the people around him tried to prevent the blind beggar from shouting out to attract our Lord’s attention, but they failed, and Jesus heard his appeal. “Bartimaeus, a blind man… sat by the roadside begging.… He began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.’… Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.’ He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:46-47, 49-50).
What eagerness he showed! Once Jesus had acknowledged him, Bartimaeus rushed to Him despite his inability to see. Unlike the ambition of the Apostles John and James that we heard about last Sunday, this man wants something most of us take for granted to change his life: his vision. He has been without this sense, perhaps since birth, and now he is in the presence of the one person who can heal him, who can change his life. The blind man even forgets his cloak in his rush to meet Jesus because he anticipates a new future for himself. Yet only Jesus knows just how great that change will be – and how happy that must have made both Bartimaeus and his Lord.
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