30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 Gospel  Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

“Master, I want to see.”

Jesus walked by blind Bartimaeus.  There was no time for Bartimaeus to hesitate.  If he did not take advantage of this opportunity, he would remain blind. So he shouts, “Master, I want to see.” And our Lord heals him.

Our lives are full of opportunities and we spend our lives pursuing some and ignoring others. Some doors of opportunities are small and unimportant while others are big and will have a significant impact on ourselves and possibly others.

A teenager hears a challenge to his faith in school and asks his parents why their family is Catholic and why they believe what they believe.  A door of opportunity opens at that moment for the parents to nurture their child’s faith, and it may quickly pass by.  You notice a lonely neighbor sitting on their front porch.  A door of opportunity opens at that moment to talk with them, and it may quickly pass us by.  We notice our spouse is discouraged.  A door of opportunity opens at that moment to encourage and support them, and it may quickly pass us by. 

Our life is so short with a limited number of opportunities that it may be easy to say, “I have so much of my own stuff that I am dealing with,”  I can’t be bothered.  Bartimaeus realized that he was at the bottom of his society.  No one had use for a blind beggar.  When Jesus walked by, Bartimaeus made a nuisance of himself.  Jesus saw him, called him, and gave him his sight.  After Bartimaeus received his sight, he in turn, took the opportunity to become a faithful follower of Jesus.

Among the numerous opportunities we will have in our life will be those which will allow our Catholic Faith to shine forth.  We, like Jesus will have those opportunities to bring help and healing to others.  At other times we will be more like Bartimaeus and will have the opportunity to ask and receive help from others. 

Most of us have been given the gift of physical sight, but we also need the gift of spiritual sight to recognize those important doors of opportunity which appear in our lives, and may quickly pass us by.  “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”

Fr. Tom