St Augustine of Canterbury, bishop
8th Week in Ordinary Time : Thursday 27th May 2021
Sir. 42:15-26; Ps. 32:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9;
Mk. 10:46-52 (Ps Wk IV)
This Gospel story about the blind beggar Bartimaeus is a fine example of how one type of story may contain other essential levels of meaning. The story is a miracle story: Jesus grants the blind man’s request that he “may see” and restores his sight.
In doing so, Jesus affirms the man’s faith, and the story becomes a statement about the need for faith and trust.
On another level, the story serves as a very revealing “vocation” story.
Jesus tells the crowd to call Bartimaeus over. Jesus involves the public; still, the call comes from Jesus Himself. The people encourage him: “Have courage, get up for Jesus is calling you.”
Every vocation comes from Jesus and gives the courage which is needed to answer it. Every call has healing power. Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak, jumped up and went to Jesus. We immediately sense his great enthusiasm and joy, the sense of having his plea answered. We, too, should respond to every call from Jesus with eagerness and joy, knowing that such a response will bring us closer to Jesus.
Finally, the story teaches the importance of perseverance in prayer. Bartimaeus continued to call out to Jesus despite the crowd telling him to be quiet.
Lord Jesus, teach us to persevere in prayer and joyfully respond to Your call.