The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In The Hope You Will Enter More Fully Into The Mass
TAKE COURAGE; GET UP, JESUS IS CALLING YOU.
Our readings this Sunday speak to us about the hope of those who are lost, blind and lame -- those of us in exile, both physical and spiritual, who call out from our woundedness, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
In our first reading (Jeremiah 31:7-9), the prophet Jeremiah offers hope to the lost tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel, those carried off and resettled to other nations by Assyria. The blind and the lame will be gathered from the ends of the world and brought back home to the Lord.
Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.
In our Gospel reading (Mark 10:46-52), we hear of Bartimaeus, blind since birth, a symbol of the lost, the alienated, the spiritually blind, calling out to Jesus, calling him Son of David. His faith and his persistence are models for us. Jesus heard his cries and told him, "your faith has saved you."
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
In our Epistle reading (Hebrews 5:1-6), the author instructs us in the role of the high priest - one of human estate, called by God to offer sacrifice on our behalf for our sins. Jesus, like us in every way but sin, experiencing the sufferings of humanity, fills this role perfectly. He deals patiently with us; he is our high priest for ever.
Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
In many ways, we live in a form of exile, alienated from God, blinded by our sin. We long for our return from exile. We take hope from Jeremiah that God will gather us back. Sometimes, we call out to Jesus, "have pity on me", and only half expect him to answer us. Let no one silence us. It is the faith of Bartimaeus that gives us hope. We must be ready for when we hear the call, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." When Jesus ask us, "What do you want me to do for you", what is it we will say to him? Ponder!
- Click HERE to read and pray on this Sunday's readings