Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM
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10/25/15 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. James

Today’s gospel is about a blind man who wished to regain his sight. When blind man shouted at Jesus to help him, many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. Because of his disability people rejected him and isolated him from the community and Jesus knew how painful this was. So Jesus stopped and told them to call him and cured of his blindness.


This gospel passage helps us to meditate on blindness. It is so painful for a blind person not being able to see people’s faces. The human face speaks by every feature; we know how something is meant because we see the other’s face.  A blind is totally at our mercy, stretching out his hand into the darkness, unable to gauge our mood.


Often every believer is like that man. We lift up our hands in prayer, and we feel no presence of the Other, God; we hear neither a promise nor a refusal. That is the time to remember Bartimaeus. He is placed here in the gospel as an encouragement for us.


The gospel says that when he heard that Jesus was calling him, “throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.” He threw aside his cloak. It was a strange thing for a blind person to do: would he find it again? Blind people have great trouble finding things. So they carefully place things. In throwing his cloak aside, Bartimaeus showed his faith in Jesus that He would cure him. 


Bartimaeus is a model of prayer life. His prayer was confident and persistent. He did not stop calling out despite being told by the people to keep quiet. He was confident that Jesus would hear him. And he was sure of what he wanted from the Lord. True prayer is sincere and humble, persistent and confident. True prayer ends up in following Jesus more closely like Bartimaeus did.


Though, we may not be physically blind, we can be blind spiritually. We may be unable to see beyond the superficialities. Money, power, self-interest, honor and glory blind us to what is real. What we need is faith. If we have the faith of Bartimaeus, then, we can allow Jesus to heal us. He will give us spiritual sight. Then we will be able to recognize who Jesus really is in our lives, and to put aside values that secular society clings to. The story of Bartimaeus challenges us to throw aside our cloaks of false comforts and come to Jesus who is meek and humble of heart.


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