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.
REFLECTION: I have a couple of questions for you, and I want you to really think about your answer, “How blind are you? How blind is this society that we live in? This society is so good at focusing on the negative but never reciprocates that passion for the good things in our life. Just look at what our news media puts out.
How blind are you to the love and blessings that surround you? Think about all the big things we miss but how about the things we consider little but are really huge? Things like embracing your child or grandchild; or noticing the beautiful Fall colors around us; or someone making me smile or better yet to laugh out loud.
Just a few of weeks ago, I went up to the high mountain and was fly-fishing the Sierra rivers. When I drive up, I start to get excited to the point where I get what I call “Froggy”. At that point, I just can’t wait to get into the river and fish. So, I was finally in the river. I was walking up stream and casting then walking up stream and casting until I find the right hole. And then, BAMM! FISH ON! And what a charge! A half a day goes by and a few fish later, I find myself haunted by these waters and just casting and hitting. Then this voice comes inside on me. This voice said to me, “STOP and look up, look down, and look around you”. That voice was my therapist on the river, God himself. Telling me to stop and enjoy the peace that surrounds me not to mention the beauty. It was then when I noticed the fall colors of the Cottonwoods, Aspens, and Oak trees. The water below me was so clear that I could see the different shapes and colors of the rocks. Then God told me, “Sit and enjoy what surrounds you” and so I did. I walked to the bank and reclined against the high bank. After a few moments, I noticed an Osprey diving in the water for food … WOW; I heard an eagle flying over me … how majestic; then I saw a herd of elk strolling by … OK God, I get it. It was at that moment that I realized that I was so focused on fishing that I was blind to everything else around me.
In our busy lives that we choose to live, we tend to get “froggy” about getting something done at home, church, work, kids, friends, money etc. and we are oblivious to the beauty that surrounds us. We are so busy, that we don’t stop and listen to the obvious blessings that surround us each and every day. We prefer to dwell on what you have to get done because there’s a list of things to do behind that. We need to use our eyes fully, to relish every nuance of color that surrounds us, to pick up the life and feeling in others’ faces, and to appreciate and be open to the glorious world of vision which I would miss if I was like this blind man.
Notice that as this blind beggar cried out, even though 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 all the more. This is the case with us, when obstacles arise in our lives, such as distractions, temptations, a lack of consolation, or any other challenge, we must recognize these obstacles. Allow yourself to get “froggy” with the things that God wants you to recognize.
ACTION OF THE DAY: Be attentive to the presence of God as He passes by, waiting for you to call to Him. Then, cry out to Him and beg Him to come closer.