Monday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
Father of all that is good,
keep us faithful in serving you,
for to serve you is our lasting joy.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel reading - Luke 18,35-43
Now it happened
that as Jesus drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of
the road begging. When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all
about, and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. So he called
out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.' The people in front scolded him
and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David,
have pity on me.'
and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him, 'What
do you want me to do for you?' 'Sir,' he replied, 'let me see again.' Jesus
said to him, 'Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.'
his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw
it gave praise to God.
• The Gospel today
describes the arrival of Jesus to Jericho. It is the last stop before going up
to Jerusalem, where the “Exodus” of Jesus will take place, according to what he
announced in his Transfiguration (Lk 9, 31) and along the way up to Jerusalem
(Lk 9, 44; 18, 31-33).
• Luke 18, 35-37: The
blind man sitting on the side of the road. “Now it happened that as Jesus drew near
to Jericho, there was a blind man sitting on the side of the road begging. When
he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about. They told him
that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by”. In the Gospel of Mark, the blind
man is called Bartimaeus (Mk 10, 46). Since he was blind, he could not participate
in the procession which accompanied Jesus. At that time, there were many blind
people in Palestine, because the strong sun which hit the whitened rocky earth
hurt the eyes which were not protected.
• Luke 18, 38-39: The
cry of the blind man and the reaction of the people. “Then he began to cry out:
Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” He calls Jesus using the title “Son
of David”. The catechism of that time taught that the Messiah would be of the
descent of David, “Son of David”, a glorious Messiah. Jesus did not like this
title. In quoting the Messianic Psalm, he asks himself: “How is it that the
Messiah can be the son of David if even David calls him “My Lord?” (Lk 20,
41-44) The cry of the blind man bothers the people who accompany Jesus. Because
of this, “The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet. They
tried to stop him but he only shouted all the louder, Son of David have pity on
me!” Even up to our time the cry of the poor bothers the established
society: migrants, beggars, refugees, sick with AIDS, and so many!
• Luke 18, 40-41: The
reaction of Jesus before the cry of the blind man. And what does Jesus do?
“Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him”. Those who wanted
to stop the blind man from shouting because this bothered them, now asked by
Jesus, are obliged to help the poor man to get to Jesus. The Gospel of Mark
adds that the blind man left everything and went to Jesus. He did not have too
much; only his mantle. That is what he possessed to cover his body (cf. Es 22, 25-26).
That was his security! That was his land! Today, also, Jesus listens to the cry
of the poor which, we, many times do not want to hear. “When he came up to
Jesus, he asked him: What do you want me to do for you?” It is not
sufficient to shout or cry out, it is necessary to know why he is shouting! The
blind man answers: “Lord that I may see again”.
• Luke 18, 42-43: Go!
Your faith has saved you! “And Jesus says: Receive your sight. Your faith
has saved you“. Immediately he recovered his sight and began to follow Jesus praising
God. And all the people, when they saw that, praised God.” The blind man had
called Jesus with an idea which was not totally correct, because the title “Son
of David” was not completely correct. But he had greater faith in Jesus than in
his ideas about Jesus. He did not demand anything like Peter did (Mk 8, 32-33).
He knew how to give his life accepting Jesus without imposing any conditions. Healing
is the fruit of his faith in Jesus. Once he was cured, he follows Jesus and
walks along with Him toward Jerusalem. In this way he becomes a model disciple
for all of us who want “to follow Jesus along the road” toward Jerusalem: to
believe more in Jesus and not so much in our ideas about Jesus! In this
decision to walk with Jesus is found the source of courage and the seed of the
victory on the cross. Because the cross is not something fatal, but it is an
experience of God. It is the consequence of the commitment of Jesus, in
obedience to the Father, to serve the brothers and not to accept
• Faith is a force which transforms the person. The Good News of the Kingdom announced by Jesus was a sort of fertilizer.
It made the seed of life hidden in people to grow; that seed hidden like the
fire under the ashes of observance without life. Jesus blew on the ashes and
the fire lit up. The Kingdom appears and the people rejoice. The condition was
always the same: to believe in Jesus. The cure of the blind man clarifies a
very important aspect of our faith. Even calling Jesus with ideas which are not
completely correct, the blind man had faith and he was cured. He was converted;
he left everything behind and followed Jesus along the road toward Calvary! The
full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained from a theoretical
instruction, but rather from a practical commitment, walking together
with Him along the way of service, from Galilee to Jerusalem. Anyone who
insists in keeping the idea of Peter, that is, of the glorious Messiah without
a cross, will understand nothing of Jesus and will not succeed in attaining the
attitude of a true disciple of Jesus. Anyone who knows how to believe in Jesus
and gives himself (Lk 9, 23-24), anyone who knows how to accept to be last (Lk
22, 26), who knows how to drink the chalice and to carry his/her own cross (Mt
20, 22; Mk 10, 38), this one, like the blind man, even not having ideas
completely correct, will succeed “to follow Jesus along the way” (Lk 18, 43).
In this certainty of walking together with Jesus is found the source of courage
and the seed of victory on the cross.
4) Personal questions
• How do I see and hear
the cry of the poor: migrants, Negroes, sick of AIDS, beggars, refugees, and so
• How is my faith: am I more fixed
on my ideas about Jesus or on Jesus?
5) Concluding prayer
How blessed is
anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked
and does not
take a stand in the path that sinners tread,
nor a seat in
company with cynics,
but who delights
in the law of Yahweh
and murmurs his
law day and night. (Ps 1,1-2)