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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6 (3)
Hebrews 5:1-6
Mark 10:46-52
October 24, 2021

As Jesus leaves Jericho, “Bartimaeus, a blind man,” is sitting by the roadside begging.  When he hears that Jesus of Nazareth is there, he begins to “cry out.

He may be physically blind but the words he cries out show spiritual sight.  He calls Jesus, “son of David.”  The title, “Son of David,” is not simply an acknowledgement that Jesus is a descendant of David.  It is a messianic title.  While the man cannot see with human eyes, he sees Jesus for who He really is.

Thus, Bartimaeus calls out, “have pity of me.”  This is not a cry for sympathy.  Acknowledging Jesus as “Son of David,” Bartimaeus knows that Jesus can help him.

When others began to rebuke him, Bartimaeus was not deterred.  He continued to call out to Jesus.  Jesus then summoned him and asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?

Bartimaeus offers the obvious answer, “Master, I want to see.

Jesus tells Bartimaeus to go his way for his faith has saved him.  Bartimaeus is healed and free to go his own way.  What does he do?  What way does he go?  He follows Jesus “on the way.” 

Seeing Jesus for who He is, Bartimaeus follows him.  There is real eyesight.

Physical eyesight is good.  Spiritual eyesight is better.

How do you see the world?  Do you look at it only in human terms? Or do you ask to see the world as God sees it?

In the first reading, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, the LORD says, “I will gather them from the ends of the world with the blind and the lame.”  God is going to bring the Babylonian Exile to an end.  He will gather everyone back to him.

This includes those who are blind and lame.  I think here of those who are spiritually blind.  I think of those who might be spiritually lame, meaning those who do not fully live the faith (or at all).

The Lord brought back the captives from Babylon.  Jesus sets us free from our captivity to sin.  He “restores our fortunes.”  This fortune lies not in material wealth.  Our true fortune is eternal life with God.

In setting us free from our sins, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

From this joy, we should exult and praise God for what He has done for us.  We should share the good news of how “the LORD has delivered his people.

It is something we are all called to do.  It is our mission.

Today our Catholic Church celebrates “World Mission Sunday.”  We are called to think of the mission to take the gospel to new people.  As part of this, we have a second collection today.  Your contributions support missionary efforts to bring the good news of salvation and mercy to Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and parts of Europe.

However, we should not look at missions only as something done someplace else by somebody else.  We are to share in the mission.  The collection is one way of doing this but we are called to something more than just giving money.

We are called to live here in our own community with a missionary spirit.  I spoke before about those who are spiritually blind and lame.  This includes people in our own community.

It can be people who have never heard of what Jesus has done for us.  It can be people who have heard but have forgotten or never fully grasped the meaning of it. 

Maybe we haven’t fully grasped it ourselves.  After all, we sin.  We are not perfect.  Sometimes people think that means they can’t speak to others.  Who are we to judge?  We should not seek to judge. 

However, that the fact that we are sinners should not stop us from sharing what we know about Jesus.  In fact, it can add to our creditability.  How?  Because we can speak of our need for Jesus and how He has helped us, how He has forgiven our sins.  We stand as witnesses to God’s mercy.

Share the mercy.

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