October 29, 2006


Today's Gospel stands in direct contrast to the passage we heard last Sunday. They are unified by Jesus' response to those who seek him out: "What do you want me to do for you?"

Last week we had a negative example in the sons of Zebedee who asked Jesus to increase their own glory. Today we have blind Bartimaeus, an example of faith and a model for our prayer.

From the side of the road Bartimaeus calls out, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Thus he reveals that, though blind by the world's standards, he is the one who can truly see - immediately he sees Truth itself in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God.

Once he approaches Jesus he tells the Master that he wants to see. But we know that he already sees what really matters. Thus Jesus does not say anything about sight, but simply, "your faith has saved you." This is the faith that made Bartimaeus call out in the first place. He was already saved when he knew in his heart that Jesus was the Son of David, the Anointed of God.

There is only one true desire in the human heart. Yes, we need and want love and care and security, but all of these things at their best are incarnations of the divine presence. Our prayer is simply the realization that God sits humbly amidst all of these earthly loves. In this little bit of faith we call out to God that we want to see, we want more, to enter more fully into this divine mystery.

To be on this path is to enter into the human life of Jesus Christ, and to accept the journey is faith. That is why Jesus is able to say, "Go on your way. Your faith has saved you."

1 comment:

Kelly Joyce Neff said...

"wow" seems an inappropriately inarticulate response to this, but I did find it deeply moving. Thank you, brother. So many of us have felt yesterday's gospel so keenly - it has engendered much discussion. Thank you for keeping the fire burning.