Being healed of blindness
What can we do when faith is being extinguished in our heart? Is there something we can do? Can we get out of our indifference? To encourage his readers to live out a process that can change their lives, Mark recounts the healing of the blind man Bartimaeus.
It is not difficult to recognize ourselves in the figure of Bartimaeus. We sometimes live like blind people, without eyes to look at life as Jesus looked at it. We sit, installed in a conventional religion, without strength to follow Jesus’ footsteps. We are on the wrong track, by the side of the road that Jesus is taking, not having him as guide in our Christian communities.
What can we do? In spite of his blindness, Bartimaeus hears is surprised to hear that Jesus is passing by. He cannot let the opportunity slip away, and so he starts shouting over and over, have pity on me! This is always the first thing: to open ourselves up to whatever calling or experience that invites us to heal our life.
The blind man does not know how to recite prayers composed by others. He only knows how to cry out and ask for mercy because he is feeling bad. This humble and sincere cry, repeated from the bottom of one’s heart, can be for us the beginning of a new life. Jesus will not pass us by.
The blind man remains on the ground, far from Jesus, but he listens attentively to what the messengers are saying to him: Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you. First, he lets himself be encouraged as a glimmer of hope turns up. Then, he hears the invitation to get up and do something. Finally, he no longer feels alone: Jesus is calling him. This changes everything.
Bartimaeus takes three steps that will change his life. He throws aside his cloak because it gets in the way of meeting Jesus. Then, even though he is still in the dark, he springs up decidedly. It is how he comes to Jesus. This is what many of us need: to free ourselves from bonds that suffocate our faith; to come, finally, to a decision, without putting it off for later; and to put ourselves with simple and new confidence in front of Jesus.
When Jesus asks him what he wants from him, the blind man does not think twice. He knows very well what he needs: Master, I want to see. It is what is most important. When one starts to see things in a new way, one’s life is transformed. A community is converted when it receives Jesus’ light.
October 25, 2015
30 Ordinary Time (B)
Mark 10, 46-52