The Gospel according to Luke (18:35-43)
As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe that your desire to spend this time with me is infinitely greater than mine. Even still, let my desire for you grow just a bit more today.
Encountering Christ: In my Reflection last Monday, I spoke about the men at Mary’s Village; how they are ignored in society; and it’s only when they do something wrong or illegal it is only then we give them attention but it’s normally a negative response. We don’t want to forgive them or attempt to help them. So, I ask you how do you feel when you are ignored? Or mis-treated? What would it feel like if people walked right by you as if you are invisible?
In this state of humility, just as it happened in this Gospel story, you can be certain that “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” So, as you sit in your humble and needy state, wait and be attentive to Jesus passing by. Wait upon His gentle voice, His quiet inspiration, His calming and unmistakable presence. BUT … Why do we have to sit and wait for Jesus? What if Jesus is sitting and waiting for you to walk by? Spiritually speaking, as Jesus passes by, He waits for you to call to Him. He desires that you call to Him. And He desires that you do it with firm confidence and perseverance.
Life isn’t easy but if you encounter hindrances then there are hidden lessons for us learn from. Notice that as Bartimaeus cried out, there were obstacles put in his way. The people “rebuked him, telling him to be silent.” But even this was a gift because it enabled Bartimaeus to cry out more. So also with us, when obstacles arise in our lives, such as distractions, temptations, a lack of consolation, or any other challenges, we must see these obstacles as hurdles that must be overcome. Doing so will deepen our union with Jesus, turning that apparent obstacle into a source of blessing.
Even though his world was filled with darkness, perhaps he alone, among all those scurrying the streets of Jericho that day, had true sight, the sight of faith. Perhaps his very blindness kept ever before his eyes the real desire of his heart: His Faith. And it was this faith which allowed him to recognize the Savior as he passed by. This faith gave him the confidence to ask for what he needed. The cry from the depths of your heart in prayer and in life’s challenges must come as a result of Jesus “passing by.”
Closing Prayer: My compassionate Lord, I come to You in my weakness and poverty, I come in need of Your divine touch and healing. As You do pass by, I acknowledge Your presence and call to You. Jesus, please do come to me, have pity on me.
Action of the Day: Reflect on the blindness, darkness, or struggles that weighs us down, tempting us to squelch our faith in loneliness and doubt? Open your eyes and see what is around you, then get up and run to Jesus.