Reflection: Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Jer.31:7-9; Ps.125; 2nd Reading – Heb.5:1-6; Gospel – Mk.10:46-52]

“SON OF DAVID”

It is quite easy today to imagine the gospel’s scenario: we have Jesus, the crowd and the son of Timaeus, the blind man. This blind man was a person who used to see but for one reason or another he had lost his sight. We are told that he was at the side of the road begging. He could do nothing else. That was his way of making a living. At the same time we understand that he knew Jesus: he used “Son of David”, one of Jesus’ titles, to address him. And he asks Jesus to have pity on him – a reminiscence of the Old Testament prayer of those who abandoned themselves into the hands of God. Twice this blind man asked Jesus to have pity on him, and the more the crowd tried to stop him, the louder he shouted. Jesus heard his pleas, stopped, started a dialogue with him and gave him what he was asking for.

The story of Bartimaeus’ physical blindness can be taken as the story of our spiritual blindness, which can end up either like Bartimaeus’ regained sight… or in a permanent spiritual blindness:

Bartimaeus:

– used to see but lost his sight

– knew Jesus

– called Jesus & asked Him to have pity on him

– found opposition: but he shouted louder

– At Jesus’ call: he jumped and went to Him

– listened to what Jesus had to say

– answered

– received what he was asking for because he believed

– followed Him!

We:

– used to believe more but lost that faith…

– know Jesus…

– Do we call Jesus? Do we pray using mere words?

– When we find opposition, do we continue to

shout or do we find ourselves discouraged?

– Jesus calls… but do we go to Him?

– … Do we listen to what He has to say?

– … Do we answer?

– … Do we have enough faith to receive what He wants to give us?

– Whatever the outcome… are we ready to follow Him?

The outcome depends only on us, on our faith. Jesus tells Bartimaeus that his faith saved him.  In our situation, can Jesus express the same thing? Can he tell us that our faith saved us? Or is He going to say that our lack of faith did not save us? He wants to be our brother. He wants the Father to take care of us. And as the Father was the one who gave glory to Jesus, He will do the same to us… only if we truly believe.

Lord, grant us the gift of faith. Sometimes, we do not know how to pray… Sometimes, when we pray we are overpowered by other noises around us… Sometimes, although we pray and ask You to have pity on us, we are not ready to receive the pity that you want to show us. Lord, give us the blindness that we need to realise that we need Your help. Give us the possibility of not being able to do anything else except to beg… your mercy. And give us the courage to let You work in us to be able to follow You!”

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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