1.Jeremiah 31:7-9
2.Hebrews 5:1-6


There is an interesting story concerning a blind man who was invited to attend a friend's wedding. The couple were being married in a village church that was well known for its picturesque qualities and its beautiful grounds. The guests commented on all of this at the reception afterwards and again when photos taken were brought back. They were struck how well the Church, the grounds and the setting  all looked. When the blind man heard all this talk he thought to himself, ' But didn't they hear the bell?' For him the bell that pealed to welcome the bride and celebrate their marriage had been magnificent. The air was filled with its vibrating jubilation. He was amazed at the atmosphere of Joy  and solemnity that the bell created for the occasion. Everyone else seemed to have missed that part of the ceremony. Although he could not see, perhaps because he could not see, his hearing was very alert. He heard the beauty that others missed. The sounds that passed others by touched him very deeply.

Today's gospel is the story of a blind man, a blind beggar. Although he was blind, his hearing was very sensitive. The gospel says that he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Although he could not see Jesus passing by, he made contact with Jesus through his sense of hearing. His finely tuned hearing to the presence of Jesus led him to using another sense to make contact with Jesus, his sense of speech. He cried out,  ' Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.' Though some of people around Jesus more especially the disciples of Jesus told him to shut up, yet he shouted all the louder, ' Son of David, have pity on me.' Even though  he could not see Jesus, he was determined to make contact with him through his gift of speech, through his urgent prayer from his heart. His prayer was an act of faith on his part. 

Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Son of David which was the title of Messiah, and trusting that Jesus could heal his blindness. His making contact through his hearing  and his speaking  revealed that he had an inner sight. Even though he was blind he saw Jesus with eyes of faith. Even though he was rebuked by the crowd for confessing his faith out loud, he refused to be silenced. He had his courage to keep professing his faith, in spite of the hostility and scorn it brought upon him. This man's courage faith and the quality of hearing, and speaking  and seeing it gave rise to may have something to teach us when professing our faith publicly can invite scorn.

Let's learn a lesson from the gospel that in our society do we still have blind 
people like Bartimaeus?we still consider that in one way or another  they are  not blind  in the sense of today's gospel, but  they are morally blind and spiritually because of the following reasons:

First, they are not concern of the plight of the poor. What they look for is their own personal well-being.

Second, they always focus on their  status in life that they are poor and they could not do anything about it. So they do not work anymore and lose hope for the future.

Third, because of poverty, they make this as an excuse to make God as secondary in their lives. They are so very busy looking for living. They are not active in the Church and they could not even make the sign of the cross during their meals.

Fourth, because they have already the wealth, they are exploiting people in order to amass more wealth. So the poor now become poorer and the rich become richer.

Fifth, they want to be the center of attraction. These are the people who attention- seeker.
As we celebrate this Sunday we are being asked to reflect on three things which are invitations coming from God:

First is to look up to God. Bartimaeus said: " Son of David have pity on me," ( v47b). We are invited to turn to God and look up to him for His mercy.

Second is to look into ourselves, we can ask this question to ourselves that, Are we living a life that is pleasing to God? If we were to come before the Lord today, what sort of a life will we present to Him? Will we be carrying in our hands presents  from a life well lived or will we come before Him empty-handed because all our life was focused on the perishable and the degradable? In other words, are we on the pre-sent or the pre- paid lane of life?

Third is to look after others. The blind person is looking for a way that he/she can see or looking for a person so that he could see the light of Christ. Like Bartimaeus, after he had seen, he did not go home anymore but he followed Jesus wherever He went. Just like us also, after we have known Christ through our baptism, renewal seminars and others, let us not make ourselves true soldiers of Christ who are ready to defend Him in all adversities and ready to help others too. Bartimaeus used his ears, faith, trust and perseverance for Jesus; how much more of us, we are physically whole. Why not give our 100% of our thanksgiving to God?

Jesus in today's gospel is considered to be the champion of those not considered unworthy enough to come to God. Again we notice and witness the extraordinary responsiveness of this man to Jesus' presence, to the call of Jesus. When he heard that Jesus was calling him, he first of all of all threw off his cloak. His cloak, no doubt, served many purposes. It sheltered him from cold weather; it was his bed; it was in a sense his home. Yet , he abandoned it, and having done so, he jumped up and went unerringly to Jesus in his blindness. Nothing was holding him back from connecting with Jesus, not even his precious cloak. He speaks to all of us of our own need to free ourselves of the binds that prevent our faith and keep us from approaching the Lord.  

The question that Jesus asked Bartimaeus, ' what do you want me to do for you?' It is the question that we can all hear as addressed to each of us personally, and how we answer that question can reveal a great deal about who we are and what we value in life. In the passage in Mark's gospel which immediately preceded this one, Jesus asked that same question of two of his disciples, James and John, ' what do you want me to do for you?'Their answer revealed a self centered ambition, ' Grant us to sit one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory?' The blind man's answer to Jesus' question revealed a very different heart. A ware of his blindness, aware of his disability, he asked simply, ' Master, let me see again.' In answering his prayer, Jesus addressed him as a man of faith, ' your faith has saved you.' He was already seeing Jesus with eyes of faith before he received back his physical sight. Once he received back his physical sight, we are told that he followed Jesus along the road. He immediately used his newly restored sight to walk after Jesus as a disciple up to the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus would be crucified. His faith had shaped his hearing and his speaking, and now it shaped the path he would take. 

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Chapisha Maoni