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Mark 10:46-52

The Word of God

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Mark 10:46-52
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! It was a prayer Jesus could not let go unheeded. He called the blind man to him and cured him. I make this short prayer my own, asking Jesus to have mercy on me in all my needs. I pray with insistence, until I can feel these words become really my own.
    • Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wanted of Jesus. Do I have a clear answer to this question? Perhaps I believe I do not need anything, or I need so many things I would find it difficult to give a clear answer. I pray for a simple, trusting heart.
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    • This lovely healing story reminds us of the earlier passages about being persistent (the widow, the friend looking for help). Bartimaeus persists, and is healed. And when he has received his sight, he 'follows Jesus on the way'. So Bartimaeus is a model of discipleship. Perhaps his story is similar to mine?
    • Or you may want to pay attention to the members of the crowd who behave in a hypocritical manner towards Bartimaeus. First they tell him to shut up, but when Jesus calls him they change their tone, saying 'take heart, get up'! Do any of these people feel remorse for their sheep-like behaviour?
    • Where do I fit into this story? Am I happy to fall in with the crowd with its different moods and reactions? Or can I see myself showing the courage and persistence of Bartimaeus?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Theologian Michel de Verteuil has a wonderful prayer in connection with this story: “Lord, there are many people sitting at the side of the road, shouting to us to have pity on them, but they often shout in strange ways: by behaving badly in the classroom; by taking drugs and alcohol; by sulking, remaining silent or locked up in their rooms; sometimes by insisting that they are happy to be at the side of the road while others pass by. Lord, like Jesus, we need to stop all that we are doing so that we can hear them express their deep longing to have their sight restored to them.”
    • I imagine Jesus saying about me, “Call her here! Call him here!” and then saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” How would I answer?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • If Jesus asked me the question that he asked of the blind man, what would be my answer? It’s great to realise that what we want is important to him. Knowing this helps me enter into a real conversation with Jesus and to know that I matter to him.
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    • Mark has heard this story from St Peter, whom he accompanied, so the scene is vivid. I imagine the margin of the dirt road on which Jesus is walking. There sits the blind beggar Bartimaeus, a symbol of all the marginalized. Some of the bystanders scold him for making a fuss. Others pick up the quick response of Jesus and encourage Bartimaeus: ‘Take heart, get up, he is calling you’. What are my reactions? What do I want Jesus to do for me?
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    • It can be hard to stand up and be counted in society. We are conditioned not to make spectacles of ourselves. But unless we stand up for truth and justice, we fail others and condemn ourselves to mediocrity.
    • What do you say to Jesus when he turns to you and says, ‘What do you want me to do for you’?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus acknowledges that it is precisely Bartimaeus’ faith which has made him well again. Faith in Jesus gives him a whole new lease of life. He becomes a joyous disciple. What difference does my own faith make in my life?
    • People who live with disabilities such as blindness often show great courage, resourcefulness and strength of character. Do I truly appreciate my own God-given ability to see and my other natural senses and abilities? Do I ever express gratitude for these wonderful gifts? And do I ever humbly ask God to help me to live well with my own disabilities and limitations?