LORD, I WANT TO SEE!
Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 17, 2021
By Deacon Orlando Mendoza
We find in the Gospel of Mark a story of a man who acquired great faith and upon seeing Jesus stopped him for healing. Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, would sit on the roadside near Jericho, a well-traveled road. It was there that he would hear people talking about Jesus. He asked the people to share the stories of Jesus healing people, casting out demons, and raising the dead. When he had heard that Jesus restored the sight of a man born blind, he became hopeful. He now believed if Jesus gave sight to a man born blind, he could surely heal him. Day after day Bartimaeus would sit by the roadside calling out to people and asking them to tell him how Jesus opened the eyes of a man born blind. He would imagine what it would feel like to see. This went on for almost three years.
Then one day when Bartimaeus was sitting on the roadside and he heard some commotion. Someone from the crowd says, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” This was his opportunity as he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” He was told by the crowd to be quiet, but Bartimaeus persisted, and he cried out even louder. Jesus stopped and looked around and sees Bartimaeus, a man who could not see. When Jesus called Bartimaeus, he dropped his cloak and went to Jesus. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, he said very clear, “Lord, I want to see.” Jesus heals him and becomes a follower of Jesus and no longer a beggar in the street. We learn from Bartimaeus that Christ teaches us that persistent prayer will find its reward. Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was open to everyone and full of compassion. He knew his prayer would be heard. Also, to know Jesus is to know faith. Bartimaeus knew the heart of Jesus because he believed in him, because he saw Jesus in the supernatural light of faith. When we trust in God we feel his presence, his power, his love. When we trust in ourselves, Jesus seems far away. When Jesus called to Bartimaeus, he threw down his cloak and went to Jesus. The cloak symbolized the most versatile item of Palestinian clothing. It serves as protection against the rapid and frequent temperature changes, insulation from the harsh winds and at night it doubled as a blanket. His cloak was part of his survival and by leaving his cloak behind he teaches us that our only sufficiency should be Jesus Christ.
From the Desk of Father Fernando Bonilla, msp.
Recovering health has as its purpose the possibility of serving others, the service of those in need. So, the gospel invites us to consider that after divine help and healing, service should be a priority. Every sick person who is cured is obliged, by divine goodness, to become the servant of all. Therefore, when the healing is of the whole being (soul and body), we are in the possibility of helping others. We can call, in this sense, “sick” all those who being in good health, do not serve their brothers and sisters. The lack of service is a form of illness, since service (helping others in any way) must be intrinsic to human nature. Let us ask the Lord to be healed in body and soul and to be willing to serve when required.
Recobrar la salud tiene como propósito la posibilidad de servir a los demás, el servicio a los necesitados. Así es que el evangelio nos invita a considerar que después de la ayuda divina y curarnos, el servicio debe de ser prioridad. Todo enfermo que es curado está obligado, por la misma bondad divina, a volverse en servidor de todos. Por lo tanto, cuando la curación es de todo el ser (alma y cuerpo), estamos en la posibilidad de ayudar a los demás. Podemos llamar, en este sentido “enfermos” a todos aquellos que estando bien de salud no sirven a sus hermanos. La falta de servicio es una forma de enfermedad, ya que el servicio (ayudar a otros en cualquier aspecto) debe ser intrínseco a la naturaleza humana. Pidamos al Señor ser curados de cuerpo y alma y estar dispuestos a servir cuando se nos requiera.