A reading from the gospel according to Mark 10:46-52
46 As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.
47 On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
50 He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
51 Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
52 Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
Pointers for Reflection:
1. Bartimaeus, a blind man, heard about Jesus of Nazareth and waited for Him on the roadside. He must have heard how the Lord performed many miracles before. He believed that He too can receive the miracle of sight if only He can meet Him. Have you also heard about Jesus? Do you believe in Him? Faith comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
2. Have pity on me! This is the cry of Bartimaeus. This is also the cry of many people who are in great need. If we are humble enough, we will recognize our great need for spiritual help. We are in many ways blind, not necessarily physical, but there are many things that we do not see. Let us also cry out to the Lord to have pity on us and to heal our own blindness. Like Bartimaeus, let us cry out: I want to see.
3. The disciples rebuked Bartimaeus. We also do that. Sometimes, we chastise people who are asking for help. Because of our carelessness, we blocked people from seeing Jesus.
4. Bartimaeus was persistent. He did not stop calling out for help though he was told to shut up. He persevered until he got what he wanted.
5. Jesus called Bartimaeus through his disciples. Yes, Jesus gave him a “calling”. He called him to come and be healed. Many times, Jesus makes use of His disciples (that is you and me) to call out people to Him. Are we available?
6. Take courage and get up! This is a challenge for all of us who have been discouraged or blinded by a lot of circumstances in life. It is Jesus who gives us hope to rise up again.
7. What do you want me to do for you today? In the previous reading, Jesus also asks the same question to James and John who wanted to sit on His sides. This is also the same question that Jesus is asking us today. He wants us to clarify or to state clearly what we really need. In the same manner, management gurus and life coaches tell us that we need to state clearly our goals and mission. It is important that we know and it is clear in our mind what we are looking for. That is why, when we pray, we have to state in clear terms what we desire from God.
8. Your faith has saved you. This is not the first time that Jesus stated this fact. Bartimaeus got the healing that he so desired because he believed in Jesus and His power to heal. We too can get the answer to our prayer in accordance with our faith. God is merciful and He knows what we need. Yet, he also wants us to believe in Him and to recognize that He alone can satisfy all our longings.