October 28, 2018: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Mark 10:46-52
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.
I admit it. I am often afraid to be honest when I hear Jesus asking me the question he posed to Bartimeus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Sometimes my inner voice says “Oh, come on Lord, you KNOW what I want you to do for me, don’t make me SAY it”. Other times, as deeply as I think I look, I genuinely do not know what I want Jesus to do for me. Well, that isn’t entirely true — I do know what I want Jesus to do for me and I decide for myself that it isn’t a worthy or lofty “ask” and so I just bury it. Jesus knows that I bury it. Jesus knows that I have a robust cache of requests and needs and wishes and hopes.
Bartimeus was a brave person. “Master, I want to see”.
At times, I want to see and I feel somewhat ready to see. I take little peeks and sort of peel back some of what is there to see. I have not stepped out, as Bartimaeus did, with his “Master, I want to see” commitment. Yes, I said commitment. Wanting to see is not an easy choice. It is a step taken in faith. And some days, it is a very small and tenuous step for me.
Write the words “Master I want to see” on a post-it note. Before you pray or reflect on daily scripture this week, begin each time with these words. What happens in your prayer and reflection time when you ask to see?