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OCTOBER 24. Ord Time B. Wk 30. Sun. Mk 10. 46-52

As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.


In all the centuries since Abraham there are multiple examples of people with a deep faith and today is just another one. Likewise, many are presented without faith, particularly the Scribes and Pharisees. There is a challenge here for each and every person; - to which group do we wish to belong?


Bartimaeus was a person who had suffered greatly, being born with a significant impediment but it did not prevent him from possessing a deep faith, which is evident from his actions here; - having no concern for how others might react to his crying out, calling for mercy from Jesus Christ; - and doing so motivated solely by his belief in Jesus as a man sent by God.


Many would have seen a blind man “sitting at the side of the road” as being someone who did not deserve to interrupt Jesus on his journey, but this was not the way Jesus saw it, and making this very clear by saying; - “Call him here!”.


This is a danger which we are can easily fall into, seeing some people as not worthy of our prayers or our assistance; - but during today’s incident, and throughout the gospels, Jesus argues strongly that nobody should ever fall into this category; - and he articulated this view when he said “I did not come to call the saints; - but sinners!”


Christ would have heard many in the crowd scolding Bartimaeus. As a result, he had to act, and make the point in front of everyone that he was just as concerned for blind beggars on the side of the road as he was for anyone else, as God has no favourites; - something Bartimaeus, with his faith, seemed more aware of than those who were trying to quieten him!


When he received Jesus’ call, he did not hesitate, and the message conveyed to us in the text; - he “sprang up, leaving his cloak behind,” gives a sense of the urgency he felt on receiving this invitation; - an urgency based on Faith. This was his opportunity to be heard and cared for; - something which would have rarely happened, due to his circumstances living on the side of the road.


And then he heard Jesus’ request; - “What do you want me to do for you?” – a request which Jesus makes to all of us during our time on earth; - but many do not hear it, due to our lack of faith; - while others do not bother to answer the question; - something this blind beggar was not going to do!


Master, let me receive my sight!” a request that was answered immediately; - “Go your way; - your Faith has saved you,” – a response we need to ponder. Bartimaeus was not cured because he deserved it, or because Jesus has a special love for him; - but because he was a man of deep faith. He believed!


Gospel Acclamation cf 2 Timothy 1:10


Alleluia, alleluia!

Our Saviour Jesus Christ has done away with death,

and brought us life through his gospel.

Alleluia!


First reading Jeremiah 31:7-9 ·

I will guide them by a smooth path where they will not stumble


The Lord says this:

Shout with joy for Jacob!

Hail the chief of nations!

Proclaim! Praise! Shout:

‘The Lord has saved his people,

the remnant of Israel!’


See, I will bring them back

from the land of the North

and gather them from the far ends of earth;

all of them: the blind and the lame,

women with child, women in labour:

a great company returning here.


They had left in tears,

I will comfort them as I lead them back;

I will guide them to streams of water,

by a smooth path where they will not stumble.

For I am a father to Israel,

and Ephraim is my first-born son.







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