Daily Reflection – 11/20/2023
Now as Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35-43)
The story of Bartimaeus is tender and beautiful. His faith was so strong. He didn’t need his eyes to see. He had his heart. A heart filled with faith.
I see faith every day. I see it in the tender touch of a mother for her child, two senior citizens holding each other hands as they cross the street, the warm smile and welcoming words from someone I don’t know, the call from an old friend whom I have not seen in decades (in my case, that’s a lot of decades)!
What brings such warmth to me in these incidents is that they are unplanned. They happen. They happen because a person was motivated to reach out. He/she may not view their action as faith filled but it does come from love.
To me, an angel smiles each time another person touches the heart of another,
That is where faith begins. Seeking God is a matter of faith not sight. There are many times in our life that we stop and use our faith to get us through. Often, we don’t even need another to tell us to have faith. We have it deep within us because that’s where the spirit of Christ resides in us. We act in faith because He guides us to a place where we know it’s the right thing, or place, or situation.
This is why Jesus spoke about those with a pure heart seeing God. You can’t see the invisible God with your physical eyes! We need to work on our inner self, our soul, using the eyes of our heart to see God. Jesus gives to the blind man what the blind man already believes.
We could almost stop at this point and not talk any more. But we can’t do that because there is another side to faith. It’s when a person is closed – sometimes through a negative action, harsh words or a tragedy that immobilizes the senses.
That moment that a person is closed often brings us back to an and emotional hurt we carry — for example, a negative image of ourselves from our youth that we hold onto, the hurt from a friend or the abandonment we felt when our spouse walked out.
We can’t go there! Why?
Jesus Christ is pure love. Love that is already in our hearts. Bartimaeus sought out that love because he knew that love would heal him. That was his faith, and it is ours. In any of those moments when you are overcome, or confused, or hurt. Stop. Stop and just repeat this one thought. Jesus loves me. Then simply move to another place – talking to God. He knows your need and is always there to guide us, or heal us, or simply let us experience a moment of love. When and as we do, there is another step that He takes.
When God reaches out with healing grace, it is not just for the sake of making us whole. God heals us from something so that we might be able to extend that same healing to the world beyond us. The kindness and compassion of Jesus embrace the blind man so that he in turn may become kind and compassionate toward others.
In our life, we will come across people who need God’s compassion and healing mercy. Before they can hear about God, they need someone to speak words of encouragement, a friend to hear the hurt they are carrying, or a faith pilgrim who’s willing to share his or her own journey of faith. Great healing can come in sharing our hurts with someone who has also known pain, hurt, and misfortune.
Our willingness to pass on the compassion of God is the way we give thanks for the healing that’s come to us.
Prayer of The Day
“Dear, gentle Jesus, my faith is tender. I come to You needing to know that You love me. Only in your presence can I find the courage to look at my brokenness and to see myself as You see me. Help me to let the power of your love, reach into those painful places in my heart that are bruised and need healing. Let me rest for a moment in the comfort of your embrace.”
Just as Bartimaeus had his opportune moment to cry out to Jesus, and then it would be gone, so it is with you. Today is the day of salvation; you may not have tomorrow! Today you are hearing the Word of God, about a Savior who invites you to come to Him for mercy. Jesus is passing by, and He may never pass so close to you again! He is the only one with the power to open eyes that have been blinded by sin. Call out to Him while He is near!