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. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more,
Today’s Gospel story of blind Bartimaeus, the man who receives his sight from Jesus, brings back memories. In grade school, I read a fictional story of the life of Bartimaeus prior to that encounter with Jesus. It’s what’s called the “back story” in movies, the history of the character not portrayed on the screen. I don’t remember the name of that book, but the memory has been with me all these years.
Imagining a whole life history for Bartimaeus helps me to put his response to Jesus into a context. We don’t know the real story, of course, and can only work with what Mark gives us.
But I think that, like Bartimaeus, each of us is a person with some degree of faith. You wouldn’t be attending to my words here if you weren’t. Like him, we want to see. Our deepest wishes, our courage when we take a risk, the generosity we might feel in response to God’s grace are all inside of us, like they were in Bartimaeus.
Today, God invites us to step out of our personal stories into the lights, in front of the camera, and into the story of the Kingdom. What a thrilling and dramatic moment it is, as we hear the Lord ask us, “What do you want me to do for you?”
And our response…?
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the first reading, Jeremiah writes, “The Lord has delivered his people.” What does that mean? What is the event foretold by Jeremiah when he says, “I will bring them back?”
This week's second reading speaks of Jesus becoming a high priest by offering his life for us. How did he do that? Jesus is said to be “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Who was Melchizedek?
In the Gospel, what was Bartimaeus' request of Jesus? How did Jesus respond?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
Mimic Jesus' actions in the Gospel and ask someone what you can do to help them. Ask your mom or dad how you can help out around the house. Or ask a friend or neighbor if they need help with anything like yard work or chores.
These are tough days to be a priest. Take some time to write a short note to your pastor or parish priest expressing your gratitude for his ministry and how it helps your faith life.