Stephen J. Baker, O.S.A.
Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
The Responsorial Psalm for this Sunday’s readings reminds us all of the great and wonderful things that God has done for us and continues to do for us. Our response to the Lord’s works is to be a stance of joy! The first reading today from the book of the prophet Jeremiah and our Gospel reading from Mark point to the restoration and healing that God brings to us.
Jeremiah speaks to the people about a time of restoration. They are experiencing captivity in Babylon as result of their infidelity to God’s Covenant of love. The Lord will deliver His people from the bondage of the Babylonians and restore them to their former dignity in the new city of Jerusalem! All those who have suffered will be brought back to the Lord’s holy city, Jerusalem, and once again take on the mantle of becoming a light to all the nations.
In our gospel today, Jesus brings healing and restoration to the blind man, Bartimaeus.
Bartimaeus cries out for healing, for the pity and compassion of the Son of David. Jesus hears his cry, and through the voice of a messenger, tells Bartimaeus that Jesus is calling him to “Come forward!” Bartimaeus comes forward in faith and it is this faith that is his salvation. He receives his sight and in praise and thanksgiving, filled with joy, he follows the Lord on the way.
Sometimes you and I are Bartimaeus. We need to see; we want to see. The circumstances of life and the darkness of the world can seem to envelop us and we find it difficult to see the light of Christ. We long for Christ’s peace, His joy, His love. We call out in faith for Jesus to have pity on us, to help us to see. The Lord is ready to open our eyes to His presence and His love. Thanks be to God for the messengers in our lives that help us to respond to the Lord.
Maybe they are our parents, family members, friends, co-workers, fellow parishioners who show us the way to Jesus. The love and healing we receive from Jesus we are sent forth to share with others. We can be those messengers who walk with those who struggle to see the Lord present in their lives. We can be the voice that tells those who struggle in faith to “get up, Jesus is calling you.” We can help them to throw off the cloak of sin and sadness so that they, too, can experience the great things the Lord will do for them. We and they can be filled with joy!