Reflection: 28th October 2018

A Reflection for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 10: 46 - 52 (  ) 

‘Lord, That I May See’

In today’s Gospel extract we read the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, who was used to sitting on the roadside at the entrance to Jericho every morning.  It’s one of the most fascinating stories in the Gospel, the kind that I think appeals to everybody. 

For one thing, it’s beautifully put together.  There are three parts to it: The Beggar’s Request; The Lord’s Response; The Cure. It also has all the ingredients that tug at the heart: the poor blind beggar, the Lord reaching out to him in his compassion, the blindness being driven away, the classic, happy ending that everyone loves!

But this is not just a good story, it’s one with implications, a story that has a lesson and a challenge for us all.

Bartimaeus did three significant things.

Firstly, he made an act of faith in Jesus.  He called him ‘Son of David’, another name for Saviour or Messiah.  He was saying in effect: ‘You are my Messiah, you are the Saviour of the World.’

The second thing he did was, despite being told by the people around him to shut up, he perseveredin prayer. They said to him: “Will you shut up, what are you shouting for?  He’s not going to listen to you anyway”. But the Gospel says, ‘He only shouted all the louder’. He gave a marvellous example of perseverance. He wasn’t going to turn down the volume on prayer.

The third significant aspect of the storyline is that after he was cured, the man didn’t go away like the nine lepers, but followed Jesus down the road.  There can be no doubt, that what Mark means in the Gospel is that he followed Jesus, as a disciple, for life.

Pat McGlynn C.S.Sp. – Ordained in 1965, Fr. Pat was an integral part of Spiritan education in Ireland for many years, most recently as Chaplain at St. Michael’s Senior School in Dublin.