Sunday, October 24th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
The Responsorial Psalm this weekend is from Psalm 26, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy,” and it sheds light on our glorious Gospel reading about the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus.
We can learn a lot from the poor blind man “Bartimaeus” from the town of Jericho when it comes to our own personal relationships with Jesus. Many of us struggle with something from which we need healing — physical blindness, illnesses such as Covid 19, addictions, bad habits, anger, and sin. In our weakness, how often do we confidently cry out to Jesus knowing for certain that he will help us?
Oftentimes we begin to, but then a voice in our thoughts tells us to doubt and we become discouraged and give up, just like the crowd in our Gospel. Although that voice is persistent and strong, we are invited to persevere and cry out even more. If Jesus can hear one voice in a crowd of many in Jericho, then he will certainly hear our direct prayer to Him in our hearts.
Our Gospel story closes with the miraculous moment when Bartimaeus is healed. The conversation with Jesus was simple. Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he would like Him to do. This man, blind for who knows how many years, desired the ability to see. Jesus responded, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” He was healed: “regained his sight and followed Christ on the way.”
There was not much that Bartimaeus had to do to become healed. All he needed was his undoubting faith. For Bartimaeus, there was nothing more important to cling to than his relationship with Jesus. In the challenging circumstances we encounter there is nothing more important for us to cling to as well.
Whatever it is that we are struggling with in this life, Jesus invites us to have faith in Him. As a result, we will remain steadfast in our relationship with Jesus Christ and will have the strength needed to keep moving forward. And although we might not be fully healed in this life, Jesus still hears our confident cries. And through our faith in him in this life we can confidently hope to be healed in the next life.