October 25, 2015 – The Gentle Mercy of God
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Michael Sliney, LC
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, he 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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. I love you Lord. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.
Petition: Christ Jesus, grant me the gift of faith.
- 1. The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves: Bartimaeus has character. As a beggar, he’s sharp enough to realize that it’s not good business to annoy the people he needs to beg from. Yet when Jesus passes nearby, he refuses to be silenced even when he’s rebuked by his “customers”. He’s driven by the certainty that Jesus can change his lot in life. Nobody, therefore, is going to keep Bartimaeus from his goal of meeting Christ. Do I have a similar kind of certitude that proximity to Our Lord is a necessity for me, that only he can heal my wounds and keep me on the right path towards heaven? Do I make sure nothing separates me from him?
- “Jesus, Help Me!” Pope-Emeritus Benedict encourages us to look to the merciful heart of the Lord, “In our difficulties, problems and temptations, we must not simply engage in a theoretical reflection — from whence do they come? — but must react positively, invoking the Lord, maintaining a living contact with the Lord. Beyond that, we must cry out the name of Jesus, ‘Jesus, help me!’ And we may be sure that he listens to us, as he is near to those who seek him. Let us not be discouraged; rather, let us run with ardor…and we too will reach life, Jesus, the Lord” (Angelus, February 8, 2006).
- The Gift of Faith: The faith of the blind beggar was what allowed Christ to cure him. Faith is not something that we can earn or acquire through willpower or sheer effort. Faith is a gift. This gift must be sought in humble and constant prayer. We have all received this gift through baptism, but it is a gift that needs to grow. “Lord, increase my faith!”
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord! Like the sight you gave to Bartimaeus, you have given me so many graces and special favors, beginning with the amazing gift of my Catholic faith. From the heart I thank you for so much love.
Resolution: I will pray with perseverance and trust for those virtues I most need, especially for the gift of faith to see Christ acting in my daily life.