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.
+Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blessed, and in our souls take up your rest. Amen.
Let us enter into this powerful encounter with '“Mercy” who is a person - Jesus Christ. Try to enter into the heart of this blind man, who day after day, has sat at the roadside, where people are passing by and has heard their talk. He has begged, day after day, listen to him: “Alms, alms for the blind, Alms…alms for the blind…” and then he hears someone say that Jesus is here in the midst of them, somewhere in the crowd. What does he feel? Watch is his reaction. He is no longer asking for ‘alms’ (sustenance for the day) he is asking for Mercy; “Jesus Son of David, have pity on me.” What changed that movement in his heart? Can you feel the movement change in his heart from seeking mere sustenance to something much greater? This change happens because he knows Jesus is near to him. Watch his boldness, as he cries out all the louder even though people are trying to ‘hush him up''; “Son of David have pity on me.” Perhaps, in his heart, wells up that deep innate conviction, that no one has the right to silence him from calling upon the Lord. He knows Jesus will not turn a deaf ear to his cry. He knows that ‘Mercy’ can only be Merciful, What does our Lord do? Does Jesus go to him? Its very beautiful what He does, He instead draws him to Himself.
Upon hearing the invitation Bartimaeus “threw aside his cloak.” This aspect holds my heart. Why did Bartimaeus throw aside his cloak when he came to Jesus?
Oftentimes, we keep our hearts protected from pain, when others words and manners are hurtful to us, we want to shield our hearts from pain. But before Jesus, there must be no such shield, no such protective layer. Bartimaeus approaches Jesus without ‘protection,’ no cloak, bare. To come to Jesus “without our cloak” is to come to him, ‘bare’, in our poverty and deep need. To come close to Him, because He is calling us close to Himself. It seems to me, as soon as he heard that Jesus was calling him, the man’s joy and hope must have exploded in his heart, you can just see him leap up and toss aside his cloak and move! And for a man who is blind, to toss away a cloak (that which held him warm and protected) was a huge leap of faith, because how would he find it easily afterwards-since he was blind? There is a radical response to Jesus, He moves! He believed in Mercy, he believed in Jesus. What do you desire that Jesus do for you, more than anything in the whole world? Do you realize He can hear you? Do you realize, He is looking at you right now, calling you close to Himself? Do you believe in His power to save you and heal you? Do you realize, He is calling you to come close to Him through the very ‘handicap’ which you feel limits you? What is your response?
Prayer: My Lord and My God, I love you, I come before you, as I am weak and poor, baring my heart to you, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God have mercy upon me, a poor sinner who loves you. Amen