READINGS: Jeremiah 31:7-9 / Hebrews 5:1-6 / Mark 10:46-52
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel narrates the story of the healing of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, by Jesus Christ. The name “Bar-Timaeus” (son of Timaeus) could have several meanings: “son of honour”, “son of integrity” or “son of unclean”.
Though Bartimaeus was supposed to be the son of honour and of integrity, he was seen by many as the “son of unclean”, due to his blindness, poverty and his untidy appearance. This initial circumstance of Bartimaeus might have been depressing for him. Fortunately, our Lord Jesus would restore unto Bartimaeus honour and integrity of the higher order. That is, the story of the initially insignificant man became so significant that it has been recorded in the Bible to edify thousands of generations after him.
Let us now learn from the saintly and honourable Bartimaeus. Firstly, the turn-around in the life of Bartimaeus teaches us that our life could be greater than it is today. So, like him, may our faith in the Lord be steadfast.
Secondly, if we are poor or jobless, the story of the onetime poor beggar teaches us that the future holds some good news!
Thirdly, if we are considered insignificant, Bartimaeus says that we should not be discouraged because the future will tell our remarkable story!
Fourthly, if we are depressed by the circumstances of our lives, Bartimaeus reminds us that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Fifthly, there were so many voices in the crowd telling Bartimaeus to keep quiet, and yet he shouted the louder until Jesus heard him. Similarly, if we are discouraged by the voices around us, let us not give up but rather persevere in our prayers until we hear the compassionate voice of Jesus!
Sixthly, if our cry for help is ignored by family, friends and society, Bartimaeus testifies that Jesus is not ignoring us!
Seventhly, Bartimaeus cried to the Lord: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”; and he was heard. Similarly, when we cry for mercy, the Lord will hear us.
Finally, the sight of Bartimaeus was restored, his poverty was turned into spiritual wealth in Jesus, and he regained his dignity as he begged for alms no more, all because he believed in the Lord. Thus, Jesus told him: “Go, your faith has saved you” (Mark 10:52)! Therefore, anytime we are depressed or discouraged, may faith be our password to access the restoration power of Jesus! Amen!
By Fr. John K. Louis