Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B
Reflecting on Mark 10: 46-52
I wonder why the disciples of Jesus and the rest of the crowd tried to shush the blind man when he called. Did they think that Jesus only wanted to be approached by the fit and good-looking? Did they assume that their own positions as disciples and followers were based on their superior wit, or status, or lovability? They must have felt quite honored to be in his entourage as he moved from place to place, from crowd to crowd. Shush, they scolded the blind man. You’re not one of his chosen. You stay in your place.
Oh, wait. Take courage, Bartimaeus! He’s calling you! Take heart! And now we feel the compassion of the disciples as they rush to tell this blind beggar that the Son of David has heard his plea and is calling for him. He throws off his cloak, springs up and comes to Jesus. He must be trembling. The Healer has called for him. What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asks. Master, I want to see. And then, after a lifetime in the dark, he sees light, and color, and family, and the side of the road where he begged for so many years. His faith has saved him. He immediately follows Jesus on The Way.
Do you know people who have recently received a cancer diagnosis, or perhaps are full of anxiety over the illness of a loved one? Go to them this week. Step out of your own comfort zone and gather around them. Hold them tight and say Take courage. Jesus is calling you.
And then, trembling, help them follow him on The Way.
How can you personally help someone who is sick take courage?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
My sister has a debilitating disease that in a multitude of ways has taken from her the sense of being herself. Part of what I want to do for her is let her know that she is still my big sister, that for me she is the wonderful person I love, that she is not her disease.
It seems that people who are ill sometimes feel that their illness defines them: they are a cancer patient – and not a full person who happens to have cancer. We cannot give this man his sight back, but we can do as Jesus does by seeing and hearing him, and demonstrating that he is not, for us, on the margins easy to ignore, convenient to forget.
Thank you, Kathy, for your thought provoking articles!
I am sending your reflections to a mother whose son has terminal cancer.
Thanks for sharing,