Thursday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time
Wendell Berry, an American novelist, has suggested that “to treat life as less than a miracle is to give up on it.” Well, today, eagerly, painfully, obediently, Bartimaeus refuses to give up on the miracle called life, the miracle called faith, the miracle called Jesus. He jumps up and grabs the guts and the grace of the Christian life. And he calls us to do the same.
James Menapace, in his commentary on today’s gospel, says, “Jesus does more than give him sight.” “He also enlightens his mind and heart and gives him a new vision of what life can be.” Bartimaeus jumps up, throws off his old, dirty, ragged coat (his old way of looking at life) and in his great need comes to be healed. “Master, I want to see.” “Your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and started to follow Jesus up the road.
We might not be physically blind, but we could be spiritually, emotionally, or psychologically blind. This blindness is manifested in our failure to see the signs of God’s love because we are focused on the negative things from within and without. It is manifested in our inability to see the needs of our neighbor because we are too preoccupied with our own needs and wants. It is manifested in our tendency to overlook the goodness of others because we are bent on finding faults in them. It is manifested in our lack of concern for our parish community because we are unwilling to leave our comfort zones. To recognize our blindness is to admit of our failures and shortcomings, of our selfishness and sinfulness.
Like Bartimaeus we are to be people of faith asking the Lord to open our eyes… so that we might see what needs to be done. We are to notice those who are close to us and part of our lives each day. We are to notice all those who do good for us and the needs they might have. We are to become more aware of their love and concern, instead of being overcome with the darkness of doubt, discouragement, and despair. We are to open our eyes to see the love the Father has bestowed upon us by giving us his Son to be our Savior and Lord. (J. Menapace)