( A Commentary on Mark 10: 46-52)
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, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 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.” Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way .( Mark 10:46-52)
What a beautiful and tender Gospel. It shows all of the love that Jesus has for us.
But there is also a call to you and me. Bartimaeus responded to Jesus and said that he wanted to see.
Do you want to see? To understand more? To sort out the complexities of life? You can. You and I both know that it lies in Jesus and yielding to his presence in our lives.
You and I don’t may know each other but I think we have a lot in common. I think if we could truly see then this is what we would see.
We would see that relationships are the most important part of life. This leads us to ask ourselves why we allowed the madness of individualism and consumerism to get ahead of our relationships? Why did we allow our careers and our schedules, our entertainment and our desire to accumulate things push the people in our lives to the side? When we look at our lives, all too often our most important relationships—the relationships between husband and wife, children and parents, and friends—are not as treasured as we know they should be. Yet, in our most sober moment we know that nothing is more important than our relationships. Then why don’t we see it?
I believe that we would see the overlooked in our livres. You know who the overlooked are: the poor, the needy, the troubled, the non-persons who suffer because they have value in the eyes of so few. The overlooked are the people who tried to love us and we did not love in return, the people who cried out to us and we did not hear, and every person we did not treat with the value that they deserved.
Those are the overlooked and we should remember to include ourselves in their number. Because everyone of us here has some part of our lives that we have overlooked. There is some flaw that we were not willing to face, some fear that we will not deal with. Not dealing with those parts of ourselves is disastrous because none of us can become the person that God wants us to be unless we are willing to admit that there are flaws and faults in our life that we have overlooked.
Finally, I think you and I would want to see the presence of God in our lives, the hints of God’s presence that surround us. God is always present in our lives, living in every moment and every breath. The beauty of God pulses through our daily routine. Yet how infrequently do we see that presence and take comfort and strength from it. How much deeper, how much more rewarding our life would be if we could have increased sensitivity to the ways in which God is present in our lives.
And if Christ were to ask you, what do you want to see, answer: I want to see the primacy of relationships in my life. I want to see the people I overlooked and the flaws in my own life I cannot face. I want to see the hints of your presence in my daily routine.
If you make that request, do not be surprised if Christ will hear you. Do not be surprised if Jesus grants your prayer. For that is the good news. The promise of the gospel is that the second time around can begin today.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, may I never fail to recognize my need for your grace and mercy. Strengthen my faith and trust in you that I may seek your presence daily and listen to your word with a readiness to follow you who are my All.”
To say to Jesus, “I want to see!” is not just to turn to a healer and ask him to restore his vision. It’s to say at a deeper level I want to live in your vision. St. John would write in his Gospel, which we have for today’s Gospel verse, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” That’s the gift for which Bartimaeus was begging. Likewise, with us, when the Lord asks what we want, we similarly want to see. We want to see Jesus in prayer. We want to see Jesus in others, in the faces of those we love, in the faces of those we find so difficult to love. We want to see Jesus behind the distressing masks of the poor, the sick, the lonely, the homeless, the abandoned, the blind. We want to behold Christ’s face in the beauties of creation. We want to see him behind each of the commandments, teaching us how to love. We want the eyes to see his will in our daily life, in the present and for the future. Ultimately, we want to see him forever face-to-face in heaven, smiling on us with love.