October 27, 2012

30th Sunday - B


What Keeps Me from Jesus?

People try to keep the blind Bartimaeus from Jesus.  They might have thought that it was inappropriate for such a nobody to disturb a master and a prophet [1].  After all, he is just a blind beggar.  Or as Fr. Frank Moloney puts it in his commentary, “He has nothing, not even his sight.” [2]  

Bartimaeus does not allow what people think of him to stop him from approaching Jesus.  He just “kept calling out all the more.”   

Nor does he allow who he is – seen here in his physical limitation and his lack of social status –  to keep him from Jesus.  In fact, when called, by throwing aside his cloak, “he leaves his only vestige of dignity….  It is with nothing that Bartimaeus presents himself to Jesus.”   [3]

Bartimaeus knows that he is nobody.  Recognizing his status and his needs, only then can he beg Jesus, “Have pity on me.”  

That awareness, instead of being an obstacle, teaches him who he is.  More importantly, it teaches him who Jesus is, the one who would “have pity” on him.

In the end, more than physical sight, Bartimaeus receives the call to be Jesus’ disciple.  “He received his sight and followed Jesus on the way.”  

[1] Francis J. Moloney, This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B. Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1993p. 194.
 [2] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary.  Peabody, MA: Hendrikson Publishers, 2002; p. 208.
[3] Ibid, p. 210.

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