Wednesday 16 March 2016

Thursday of 8th week of Ordinary Time even numbered year Jeudi de la 8 semaine du temps ordinaire, année paire

“Jesus said to him : ’Go, your faith has saved you. Straight away he got back his sight and began to follow him on the road.”

1 P.2,2-5,9-12 Ps.99 Mk.10,46-52

Thursday of 8th week OT even numbered year

“They came to Jericho. And as he was going out of Jericho with his disciples and a big crowd, a blind man, Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting on the side of the road.”

We are on the way out of Jericho town on the road leading to Jerusalem. Jesus is walking there in a determined way towards the Holy City to live his Passover, for he had made up his mind that he would love right to the end.

The group of disciples are there with him on the road. And here we have a beggar sitting on the roadside, a blind man.His name was Bartimaeus. Plunged into darkness, since he was blind. Sat there on the road side, marginalised from society. A beggar, he doesn’t see to his own existence. This man is tired, not seeing his path, he begs for a little affection and recognition.

As Jesus is passing by, Bartimaeus shouts out in aloud voice : ’Jesus, Son of David, have pity upon me!’

Bartimaeus is also our own history, it is the history of the path of faith.

When we set out, we are in a suffering situation but in the inmost part of ourselves there is an expectation and a desire. When we discover Jesus going past us on the road, we cry out to him. But our path isn’t free of obstacles, we need to go beyond them and persevere. Like Bartimaeus, we make an act of faith, leaving all that blocks us and we throw ourselves with resolve towards Jesus.

The personal encounter with Him is an experience of Salvation which founds our entrance into the family of disciples. It is characterised by this following of Jesus on the Way of the Cross.

"When Bartimaeus learned that it was Jesus of Nazareth he began to cry out :’ Son of David, Jesus, have pity upon me!’ Many told him to be quiet but he cried out all the more loudly : ’Son of David! Have pity upon me!’

Bartimaeus keeps an aspiration for life, he has deep hope within him. Despite his disfigured humanity, he proves that he can rebound, he takes hold of the

opportunity he has there and then. And he has such an ardent desire, which obtains him the energy to persevere just until he can be heard, whereas people try to shut him up. He apostrophes Jesus, calling him “Son of David”. He has the intimate conviction that this Son of David can do something for him.

The history of humanity is a cry like the one Bartimaeus has. The response, the call of Jesus he hears, has him throw down his cloak behind him so as to abandon it without a moment’s hesitation. It is the abandon of the old man, the abandon of what up until now made up his derisory wealth, his relative protection what seemed to be his security. We understand that he trusted Jesus anything else no longer counts for him. He jumps up and runs towards Jesus. He gathers up all his energy and banks his whole life on Jesus. He has an absolute confidence in Him.

“Jesus stopped and said : ’Call him here.’ They called the blind man saying to him :’Take heart! Get up, he is calling you!’ He threw off his cloak, jumped up and came towards Jesus. Jesus said these words to him : ’What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied : ’Rabbouni, make me see again!’ Jesus said to him : ’Go! Your faith has saved you!’ And straight away he got back his sight and started following him on the road.”

Jesus’ question opens up a dialogue with Barthemy, manifesting that God has the idea of bonding a personal relationship with him, this man who calls out to Him.

Jesus calls forth our freedom and brings up in us a determined response. We need to believe that Jesus can obtain our salvation. Bartimaeus discovers how Jesus calls him, that he is attentive to his cry.

Jesus takes care of each one of us, he doesn’t pass by us without being sensitive to our distress. Each one of us is unique and loved in a particular manner. This call from Jesus passes through others. It is relayed by the disciples and the big crowd that surrounds Jesus.

Jesus’ call is an enlightenment and a commitment to follow him as a disciple. Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, he is going to give up his life out of Love.

To respond to the call and follow Jesus means to be committed to following him in his Paschal mystery. It is this openness of Jesus towards another that makes us open and makes us luminous of God’s very life! Our dwelling place is the Love of the Heart of God.

We ask for the grace to have a child’s heart so as to shine forth with God’s Love.