The Gospel according to Mark (10:46-52)
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
Reflection: I have never been without my sight. Except for the childhood games of pin the tail on the donkey or hitting a piñata requiring a blindfold, I don’t know what it’s like to not see. I do have to admit I have closed my eyes and walked around my house to see what it would be like. Imagine not having the gift of sight and living in a world designed and intended for people who have sight. Isn’t it the same living life without the gift of our faith. We can be blind to so many good things and blessings. Worst of all, we are responsible for our own blindness.
Anyone who professes to be a follower of Jesus must have made a conscious decision to walk away from the darkness of sin. However, and unfortunately, we are not able to remain in the light of his grace and forgiveness. We fall back into sin and repeat our need for healing from the master who will always welcome us back to the light. I can very much relate to our brother Bartimaeus in today’s gospel. At times I find myself on the roadside because I have allowed myself to stray from the narrow path. There, like the prodigal son, I come to my senses and with contrition I call out to Jesus asking for pity, for just a moment of his time. It is in that moment of desire to be with Jesus that the light begins to pierce through the dark.
Given the choice of darkness or light, sight or blindness wouldn’t it make sense that we always choose the light. Yet why do we seem to be caught in this cycle of sin and forgiveness. That is a question that is as old as time itself. Perhaps one day, when in the presence of Light himself, we will understand more fully God’s plan and how it all works. In the meantime, we have enough to deal with. To better avoid the darkness of sin we must persevere in pursuing our faith life. We must also never doubt the love of our Father. He sent His son to destroy sin and death so that we may have a path to eternal life. Let us remember what Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians 5:8, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light”.
Action of the day: The light of our faith reveals many of obstacles that lead us back to sin. Pray for grace that will increase our faith and therefore our ability to forsee and avoid those obstacles. Pray also for our brothers and sisters who find themselves in a dark abyss. May our prayers coupled with the light of our faith help illuminate the road for those around us.