Jesus miraculously gives the faithful and persistent Bartimeaus sight. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can always give God thanks in private and public and by growing in the Virtue of Charity so he can perform many Works of Mercy to help the suffering.
8th Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Mk 10:46-52; 30th Week of Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 10:46-52
On the way to His Passion, Jesus offered a miracle tour de force by healing a crippled woman (skeletal), a man with dropsy (circulatory), and 10 lepers (skin); He now miraculously gives a blind man his sight. On the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the very same location of His parable, The Good Samaritan (Lk 10:29-47), Jesus stops and offers mercy to an unfortunate on the road.
The long-suffering blind Bartimaeus, sitting and begging and socially-isolated due to his disability, desperately attempts to find out why the great throngs of people are going by. Evidently, the blind man knows of Jesus and perhaps has even waited for Him; the man cries out with some familiarity, “Jesus, Son of David (a first in Mark’s Gospel), have mercy on me.” The Jews believed a descendant of King David, the Messiah, would restore the Kingdom of Israel and would also perform signs, like healing the blind (Is 29:18). The crowd, enamored and annoyed, tells the man to shut-up; ironically, the man is crying out for mercy and the crowd shows him no mercy. The blind man, spiritually moved by the presence of God, shouts even louder with a “blind faith” in Jesus.
In a rebuke and a lesson in mercy to the crowd, Jesus stops and commands the crowd to bring the blind man forward. While He knows what the man wants, Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man demonstrates complete faith; addresses Jesus as Rabbouni (“my Master”), believes He has miraculous healing power and respectfully requests for Jesus to heal him. With simply a word, Jesus restores the man’s sight and tells the man that he is not only physically healed but spiritually healed (the word used for “heal” can also be rendered “saved”). Realizing he has been both healed and saved, the man glorifies God and follows Jesus. The man’s miraculous healing and his faith in, and gratitude to God, stirs the previously unmerciful crowd to give praise to God.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be encouraged by Jesus, the Divine Priest, who with the fullness of Compassion listens for and responds to the prayers of the desperate who cry out in faith, has the Divine Knowledge and Power to instantly heal blindness (something, that even today, with incredible technology is rare, complex and expensive) and responds with the Corporal Work of Mercy (a part of Charity) to care for the ill.
Thank God in private and in public
Realize: The healed man’s shouts of gratitude not only justly gives God glory for healing but also spurs others to glorify God; publicly giving God glory for His blessings is not only required by the Virtue of Justice, but can help lead others to God.
Believe: Reflect upon Gratitude to God (CCC 800, 1360, 1418, 2097, 2099, 2215, 2218, 2239, 2251, 2280, 2362).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I always recognize Your abundant blessings in my life, give You thanks, and personally tell others about how You have richly blessed me.
Perform many Works of Mercy to help the suffering
Realize: Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan and the healing of Bartimaeus highlight the emphasis that Jesus places on Works of Mercy for the injured and disabled.
Believe: Review the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy (CCC 2447).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Charity, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I have the faith and fortitude to perform many Works of Mercy for my brothers and sisters who suffer poverty, illness, and disability.