News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October 2021: The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
You might have thought that as Jesus led his disciples towards Jerusalem to face his destiny – trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection, that he would have had little else on his mind. For his last three years on earth had been filled with miracles of healing, preaching God's message and showing his disciples the path to God's Kingdom. Now he is heading for Jerusalem as the Passover draws near and as he prepares for his ultimate sacrifice. Yet in this Sunday's Good News from the Gospel according to Mark, we hear the story of Bartimaeus. He was a blind beggar, sitting at the side of the road as Jesus walked past with his disciples and he calls out: “Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me”. It would not have been a surprise if Jesus had chosen to ignore Bartimaeus. Surely he has far more important things on his mind? But Jesus stopped and called him to come over. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks him. And Bartimaeus replies: “Rabbuni. Master, let me see again.”
I have often been inspired by people with disabilities who manage to turn their disability into 'special abilities'. We need only look to the paralympic games to see athletes who are skilled in so many disciplines. Here, Jesus is impressed by the 'inner sight' that Bartimaeus demonstrates. While the disciples are fixed upon the 'here and now', a blind beggar is the one who really understands and who “sees” who Jesus really is. “Go, your faith has saved you.” And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road. Are we like the disciples – caught up in our daily tasks, too busy to focus on what is important? Perhaps we ought to be more like Bartimaeus to see, not with our eyes, but with our hearts. I wonder, if we were to meet Jesus on the road, would he be telling us: “Go, your faith has saved you”?
The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 23rd October at 6.00pm. Parish Mass is on Sunday 24th October at 10.30am. Let us use these opportunities to ask: “Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.”