Thursday, May 30, 2024

Gospel Reflection Mark 10:46-52

Today’s Gospel recounts the story of Bartimaeus. The idea of blindness has strong spiritual connotations. If we are blind, we cannot ‘see’ the pain and error of our sinful ways nor can we behold the truth of God. In another setting, Jesus chastises the Pharisees for being blind guides. They do not know where they are going yet confidently lead others. We are meant to see glimpses of ourselves in the Pharisees, and they should serve as an apt warning sign. Spiritual blindness is a grave danger.

We encounter Bartimaeus in a sorry state. Not only is he unable to see, but he is begging. He has put himself at the mercy of others. Lest we look down our noses at the beggar, we must remember ourselves in the same state. We are all beggars. Our sinfulness places us in the worst state imaginable. We cast about futility in many directions for sustenance. Nothing in this world can nourish. Bartimaeus realizes his state. He knows only the grace of the Son of David can help him. Even though people try to fervently deter him, Bartimaeus throws himself at the mercy of God with abandon.

What all of us sinners need, those of us who are ‘blind’, is to ‘see’ Jesus. Thus, it is instructive that at the end of the passage today, Jesus says, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Bartimaeus asks to receive sight, but he gets so much more than being able to see colors, shapes, and movement. My speculation is the first thing he sees with his eyes is the face of Jesus, while at the same time, his faith has brought him before the face of God in friendship. 

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