Thursday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
guide the course of world events
and give your Church the joy and peace
of serving you in freedom.
You live and reign with the Father and the
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Mark 10,46-52
As Jesus left
Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus -- that is, the son of
Timaeus -- a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard
that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, 'Son of David,
Jesus, have pity on me.' And many of them scolded him and told him to keep
quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.'
Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him here.' So they called the blind man over.
'Courage,' they said, 'get up; he is calling you.' So throwing off his cloak,
he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, 'What do you want me to do
for you?' The blind man said to him, 'Rabbuni, let me see again.' Jesus said to
him, 'Go; your faith has saved you.' And at once his sight returned and he
followed him along the road.
• The Gospel today describes the cure of
the blind man Bartimaeus (Mk 10, 46-52) which closes the long teaching of Jesus
about the Cross. At the beginning of this teaching, there was the cure of an
anonymous blind man (Mk 8, 22-26). Both cures of blind persons are the symbol
of what happened between Jesus and the disciples.
• Mark 10, 46-47: The shouting of the
blind man Bartimaeus. Finally, after travelling a long distance, Jesus and
the disciples reached Jericho, the last stop before going up toward Jerusalem. Bartimaeus,
the blind man was sitting at the side of the road. He could not take part in
the procession which accompanies Jesus. But he calls out, asking for the help
of Jesus: “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” Throughout the
centuries, through the practice of the monks of the desert, this invocation of
the poor Bartimaeus became what is usually called: “The prayer of Jesus”. The
monks repeated it orally, all the time, and from the mouth it went to the
heart. The person, after a short time, no longer prays, in the sense that the
person becomes prayer.
• Mark 10, 48-51: Jesus listens to the cry
of the blind man. The cry of the poor man bothers people. Those who are in
the procession try to stop the poor man from shouting, but “he shouted even
louder!” And what does Jesus do? He listens to the call of the poor man, he
stops and said: Call him here! Those who wanted to keep him from shouting, to
stop the disturbing shout of the poor man, now, at the request of Jesus,
are obliged to bring the poor man to Jesus. “Courage, get up because Jesus
is calling you”. Bartimaeus leaves everything and directs himself to Jesus.
He does not have too much. Only a mantle; what he had to cover his body (cfr.
Ex 22, 25-26). This was his security, the only thing he possessed. Jesus asks:
“What do you want me to do for you?” It is not enough to shout. It is
necessary to know why we shout! “Rabbuni, My Lord, let me see again!” Bartimaeus
had called Jesus not with thoughts completely just, because the title “Son of
David” was not particularly appropriate. Jesus himself had criticized this (Mk
12, 35-37). But Bartimaeus had greater faith in Jesus than what he could
express with his ideas about Jesus. He does not express any demands as Peter
did. He knows how to give his life without imposing any conditions, and the
miracle takes place.
• Mark 10, 52: “Your faith has saved
you”. Jesus tells him: “Go, your faith has saved you.” In that same
instant Bartimaeus began to see again and he followed Jesus along the road. His
cure is the result of his faith in Jesus. Once cured, he abandons everything,
follows Jesus along the road and goes up with him toward Calvary to Jerusalem. Bartimaeus
becomes a model disciple for all of us who want to “follow Jesus along the
road” in the direction of Jerusalem. In this decision of walking with Jesus is
found the source of courage and the seed of the victory on the Cross. Because
the cross is not fatal, nor an exigency from God. It is the consequence of the
commitment assumed with God, to serve the brothers and sisters and to
• Faith is a force which transforms
persons. The cure of the blind man Bartimaeus clarifies a very important
aspect of how faith in Jesus should be. Peter had said to Jesus: “You are the
Christ!” (Mk 8, 29). His doctrine was right, exact, because Jesus is the
Christ, the Messiah. But when Jesus says that the Messiah has to suffer, Peter
reacts and does not accept. Peter had a right doctrine, but his faith in Jesus
was not so just. Bartimaeus, on the contrary, had called Jesus with the title
of “Son of David!” (Mk 10, 47. Jesus was not too pleased with this title (Mk
12, 35-37). And this is why, even invoking Jesus with a doctrine which is not
correct, Bartimaeus had faith and was cured! It was different from that of
Peter (Mk 8, 32-33), he believed more in Jesus than in the ideas that he had of
Jesus. He was converted and followed Jesus along the road toward Calvary (Mk
10, 52). The total understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained
through a theoretical teaching, but with practical commitment, walking with
him along the road of service and of gratuity, from Galilee to Jerusalem. Anyone
who insists in maintaining the idea of Peter, that is, a glorious Messiah
without the Cross, will understand nothing of Jesus and will never be able to
attain the attitude of a true disciple. Anyone who believes in Jesus and
“gives” himself (Mk 8, 35), accepts “to be the last one” (Mk 9, 35), to “drink
the cup and to carry the cross” Mc 10, 38), this person, like Bartimaeus, even
having a not too correct idea, will succeed to perceive and “to follow Jesus
along the road” (Mk 10, 52). In this certainty of walking with Jesus is found
the source of courage and the seed of the victory on the cross.
4) Personal questions
• An indiscreet question: “In my way of
living faith, am I like Peter or like Bartimaeus?
• Today, in the Church, is the majority of
the people like Peter or like Bartimaeus?
5) Concluding Prayer
Yahweh is good,
his faithful love is everlasting,
his constancy from age to age. (Ps 100,5)