Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reflections on the Readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 31: 7-9
Hebrews 5: 1-6
Mark 10: 46-52

Can anyone of us who have our eyesight, imagine what it must be like to be blind? To be living in total darkness? Imagine what it would be like in the time of Jesus; with none of the aids or support systems we have today for the blind. Some would be abandoned by their families, ashamed because they think God is punishing them for some unknown sin. Some of the blind would be like Bartimaeus, sitting on the roadside, hearing the sounds of the world going by them, calling out for some alms. They hope to hear the clatter of coins; they hope that no one will rob them of what little treasure they have.

We do not know how long Bartimaeus was blind, how long he had been sitting at that roadside. Whether he was despairing over how his life was turning out. Then one day he hears this commotion, he learns that Jesus of Nazareth, the famous healer and preacher is coming. He suddenly feels a spark of hope, and he grabs for it. He cries out, somehow inspired to call Jesus, “son of David.” Bartimaeus is brought before Jesus; he is asked what he wants Jesus to do for him. Now he has only heard stories about this Jesus; and there have been so many so-called healers in Judea. But deep in his heart, he believes in this man from Nazareth, so he asks that he might see. It is that faith that saves him, he receives his sight and his world is forever changed. Now, his world is open to new opportunities, he can take any road now. He chooses to follow Jesus, who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

We all suffer from some type of blindness, the blindness of prejudice, greed, hate, depression, and self-doubt. It is a blindness that keeps us from seeing the beauty of God’s creation; keeps us from seeing others as our brothers and sisters in Christ; keeps us from seeing how much the Father loves us. We all need healing; even though that healing may change us, change how we perceive the world and ourselves. And change can be scary; it can draw us out of our comfort zone. What we need then is the gift of faith. It is faith that causes us to get up and draw near to Jesus. It is faith give us that little spark of hope. It is faith that makes us ask Jesus, to say, “Master, I want to see.”

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