Friday, 23 October 2009

What do you want me to do for you? Master, let me receive my sight.

Well, as mentioned, the next few days are going to be busy as I will be travelling to Kilkenny this afternoon for a Youth 2000 retreat. So I will just write a very short reflection on the Gospel of this coming Sunday, which is from Mark 10:46-52, as I found that there is maybe an interesting reflection on the cause of events.

Jesus is going around the area of Jericho, and as usual it seems that great crows of people are assembling around him, "a great multitude" (Mar 10:46 RSV) was following him. Then there is this blind man Bartimaeus who is begging at the side of the road. He clearly has heard something about Jesus, even though we do not know for sure what, but possibly that he was a healer and helped people. As soon as he hears that Jesus is passing by, he start to cry out to Him: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Mar 10:47 RSV).



We don't know why exactly the multitude is following Jesus? Is it the fact that He heals people, His teaching or just the buzz of all the activity? What we do know however that whatever turmoil is going on, Bartimaeus is not part of it. And it exactly Bartimaeus who start to cry out to Jesus. In his position as a blind beggar, shrouded in darkness he is searching for the light...

Now the crowd tries to stop him, and tell him to be silent. Bartimaeus is crying out to God, but the people around are just annoyed with him and find him a nuisance. And what came to me during my meditation on the text is that there maybe seems to be some kind of a distance between them and Jesus, and that maybe they are just there because of the healing and the buzz. When after persisting Jesus calls for Bartimaeus the crowd says "Courage,[...] get up; he is calling you." (Mar 10:49 NJB). Courage, or take heart, be brave, you name it, but something touching on frighting. Jesus pities him, Jesus loves him, like He loves everyone of us, but maybe the crowd have not actually realized the reality of who Jesus is, and what it means to be with Him. The crowd does not realize that Jesus is calling anyone of them personally and asks them "What do you want me to do for you?" (Mar 10:51 RSV).


It is very easy just to go through, or not go through, the motions of our faith, but Jesus is calling us to the light. We should be afraid, or need courage, but step out and let our request to be "Master, let me receive my sight." (Mar 10:51 RSV), that we may see the beauty of what is offered to us, be called out of darkness into the light and eventually hear our Master say to us "Go your way; your faith has made you well." (Mar 10:52 RSV)


So while going down to this retreat I pray that will be some people like Bartimaeus who are searching to see, who are searching to know the truth, who want to learn and see what the world is really like and meant to be. So much is offered to us, and we accept so little of it... and that we may, like Bartimaeus, genuinely "followed him on the way" (Mar 10:52 RSV)

1 comment:

My Heart Beats and I sigh said...

i love to read other's Gospel thoughts. thanks. seems to me the crowd could use some of the Light, if you will, that the blind beggar receives, huh? My favorite part is Jesus asking him, "what do you want?" think it is pretty cool Jesus didn't acknowledge the physical handicap as the primary need...what do you think? peace.

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