As the journey of Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem concludes, ours through the liturgical calendar draws a close end. The readings this week challenge us to reflect on how we might be blind and our readiness to receive the gift of a new vision freely offered.
In the first reading, God, through prophet Jeremiah, offers his people a vision of a joyful return to their homes. He gathers them and is ready to heal them. The psalm is a song of the wonderful works of God in our lives that fill us with joy. The message from the second reading indicates that Jesus the high priest deals with us gently because he knows our weakness.
Like the blind man, Bartimaeus, on this Sunday, let us ask the Lord to help us see again. The cry of the blind man moved the heart of Jesus; he then stopped and had the blind man called over. A personal encounter took place between the Lord and Bartimaeus, a suffering man. They found each other face to face, God with his desire to heal and the man with his desire to be healed. These are two freedoms and two converging desires. Jesus’ question to the blind man, “what do you want me to do for you?” is a question for each of us today and always. As the blind man answers, “Lord, let me see,” and what follows his answer is, “Go your way, your faith has saved you,” we can truly notice that a miracle was worked in this exchange. God’s joy and the man’s joy converged. Bartimaeus came into light as the Gospel narrates, and “he followed him on the way.” That is, he became a disciple of the Lord.
Friends, at this point of the Gospel text of Mark, it takes us back to two Sundays. Some people wanted to follow the Lord on his way, but they were struggling with different desires. The man who ran to Jesus desired to follow him, although he didn’t see the one thing he lacked. Jesus opened him to see that one thing he lacked. Then later, Jesus was asked by the two sons of Zebedee, who desired power and authority to dominate, to grant that they sit one on his right and the other at his left. Again, Jesus opened them to see that his lifestyle entailed humble service with love.
Turning, therefore, to our inner selves, what is our genuine desire? As we continue our faith journey, asking the Lord to fill our lack and make us humble servants like him, faith is essential to help us see our desire. Faith is illumination on our Christian journey to see deeper and beyond our human reason. Our Christian journey that leads to salvation starts with the humility of recognizing our need for salvation. The journey then brings us to the personal encounter with Christ, who calls one to follow him on the way of love and service.
On this month of October, dedicated to the mission and particularly this Sunday, it is vital to rediscover the value of our Baptism, the root of our missionary commitment. Our missionary vocation is a journey illumined by faith while we continue to be fascinated by Christ in his footsteps.
Christian Action This Week: Pray for the religious men and women and catechists to strengthen their missionary vocation.
Joy and peace.