30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our lives on earth are invariably characterised by moments of darkness and weakness, times of temptation and sin, when choices we make don’t reflect the ideals of the life of faith we seek to follow. Today’s Gospel reminds us of a hope, healing and peace that is ours to call for in Christ.
Our Lord’s active life was one of seeking to reach out in mercy, love and healing to those pushed to the edge; the lost, the crippled, the blind, the hungry, the hardened sinner- St Bernard glimpsed in these fallen Gospel figures, all humanity, lying paralysed, blind to the Glory of our heavenly identity as Children of God, but who were now being made whole through Christ.
Sometimes the temptations and distractions, ‘the cries’ of this world and our selfishness blind us too. These are the times when we must remember that Christ is near- all we need to do is to call in our need! The beggar’s perseverance reminds us that in our need we must turn our whole heart to recognising Christ. St Augustine tells us we ‘call’ through our prayer and our good actions. We may fall, but one good act always open to us is Confession, that great sacrament of compassion. Here, our Lord’s active mission continues as he reaches out to us, healing and freeing us from our sins and strengthening us in our weakness- restoring us with that same miraculous and tender mercy He healed the blind beggar. After Bartimaeus was healed, crucially, he followed Our Lord along the road. This is also our key to overcoming those difficult moments of darkness and weakness- keeping close to Christ in the journey we make each day, keeping our eyes open to his real and healing presence, in our daily life, our prayer, and most especially in the Eucharist. The path to true peace and heavenly Glory is before us; call and follow the Lord !
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
– Mark 10:46-52