READINGS: Jeremiah 31:7-9 / Hebrews 5:1-6 / Mark 10:46-52
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel narrates the story of the healing of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, by Jesus Christ. The name ‘Bar-Timaeus’ (son of Timaeus) could have several meanings: ‘son of honour’, ‘son of integrity’ and ‘son of unclean’, among others. Beloved, the initial circumstance of the man Bartimaeus who was blind and poor (beggar) might have been depressing to him. As a blind poor person who begged for his daily bread in those days, many saw him as the ‘son of unclean’, instead of the ‘son of honour’. Yet the end of the gospel story is so amazing. That is, his physical blindness was replaced with the bright light of his great faith in the Lord; his poverty was turned into spiritual richness in Christ; and the story of this insignificant man became so significant that it has been recorded in the Bible to edify generations after him.
If anyone among us is physically blind or is losing his sight, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: the future can be great!
If one is poor or jobless, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: the future holds some good news!
If one is considered insignificant, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: the future will tell his/her great story!
If one is depressed by the circumstances of his/her life, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: there is light at the end of the tunnel!
There were so many voices in the crowd telling Bartimaeus to keep quiet, and yet he shouted louder to Jesus’ hearing. And so, if one is discouraged by the voices around him/her, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: the healing voice of Jesus is yet to be heard!
If one’s prayer seems not to be heard by God, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: perseverance will never fail him/her!
If one’s cry for help is ignored by family, friends and society, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: for Jesus is different from our family and friends!
If one is in need of God’s mercy, he/she can identify with Bartimaeus: forgiveness will soon be experienced!
Beloved, in the end Bartimaeus became a ‘winner’, his sight was restored, his spiritual wealth invested in Jesus Christ, and his dignity regained (he become truly the ‘son of honour’) as he begged no more for his daily bread! But, how did he access the restoration power of Jesus? He used the ‘password’ of faith. This is implied in Jesus’ response to him: ‘Go, your faith has saved you’ (Mark 10:52)!
Beloved, I pray that anytime we are depressed or discouraged, we will also victoriously access the restoration power of Jesus Christ through the password of faith, and forever remain God’s ‘son/daughter of honour’! Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis