Homily of 28th October 2018
Jeremiah 31:7–9; Hebrews 5:1–6; Mark 10: 46 52
In many ways we are all Bartimaeus. We all have our blind spots, we all need healing, we do want to see, especially who we are before God. Jesus wants to heal
whatever gets in the way of our life in God and our life in community. Jesus wants us to go on the way with Him.
So, what we see in the gospel is the life-changing encounter that occurs with Jesus. Oh, we may not name it that way, but we are looking for mercy, for belonging, for our future, our fulfillment, our way, to go into our life today.
We see the tensions in our world around priorities, around values: self verses community, nations verse world order, and you verses me. We are stymied by so many layers of our false self. And we hold on to them for safety that just hides our deepest truest self. We need a wake-up call to confront these issues. Our world needs this wake-up call, a time out, to re-evaluate just what is right, what do we really want and where will we find it? How do we come to solidarity?
If we don’t have this time of reflection, of prayer, of encounter with Jesus, with the deepest part of ourselves, everything will just get worse. There will be even more of a breakdown in communication, in civility, and more frustration.
What encounter do you need with Jesus? Every stage in life has a new issue to confront, to understand, to heal perhaps, too let go of. What is yours now?
Bartimaeus represents us, people of faith. We want more, we recognize our blind spots; we know we need healing. We know we need Jesus. We need an encounter with Him. We need a Bartimaeus moment again and again. An encounter: an intimate moment, a release, open exchange, a deepening of feelings, intimacy.
Bartimaeus is really blessed. His priorities are right, and he goes for it. He won’t let the disciples get in the way – what gets in the way for you – he keeps pursuing Jesus and the encounter he wants.
And what we see here in the interplay going on between Jesus and Bartimaeus is a journey to deeper life. It’s compressed into a brief moment with Jesus. We notice right away two things. Bartimaeus’ desire and Jesus’ desire. They keep moving closer together to deeper and deeper realities.
Jesus invites us to this dialogue, this relationship with him. This opens to a new freedom. He asks us what do you want? Bartimaeus knows what he wants, and he believes in Jesus. He declares his faith, “Son of David have pity, have mercy on me.” Do you know what you want from Jesus?
He is a poor blind beggar and Jesus heard him. His faith was recognized.
Why not hold on to faith, what else is there really, why not cry out and make a fuss. So, make yourself heard, you too can beg God. We have faith, we are surely poor in our human ways. We know our need, so we beg God for more of God. We want this encounter with Christ too.
Jesus gave him sight and insight. The healing and response are simultaneous. We know what it feels like to be energized in the spirit and to go forward with renewed vigor, renewed faith.
What does faith invite you to do now? What is your heart’s deepest desire? Jesus is listening. Real faith leads to discipleship, to following Jesus. To more of God and Godly action Godly living which means a conversion to live Christ even more fully.
So, you can come to more of your true self, which is in God.
We want our insight restored and follows Jesus. To truly be his disciple. In Christ we experience the gift of salvation, the gift of mercy, loving kindness and faithfulness. So, our monastic life, indeed all of Christian life lived out is the sign, the witness to the world of this salvation, of life in Go.
The world wants to be whole again. To be healed, of pain, suffering, injustice, war, discrimination, persecution, healed of disrespect, of greed, of the slavery to power and money, of materialism. Only sacrificial love can transform a world of such selfishness, can heal this lack of love, and heal our hearts. We need Jesus to show us the way.
We celebrate all of life, preserve all life, honor all life and seek ways to share this truth as Witnesses of Christ and the truth that all people are spiritual beings in the image of God.
So now we share our insight with the world. Of who Christ is for us and for all humanity. We share our life of mercy, of loving-kindness with all people. This is the hall-mark of the Christian. It’s how we follow Jesus on the way.