Thirtieth Sunday: By the Side of the Road We Cry Out

 

"Master, I want to see."

 

Jesus passes the Blind Man.  Bartimaeus can only hear the commotion.

 

"Master, I want to see."

 

Our world is full of noise, full of people telling us what we should say, do and think.  The whole goal of our existence has been confused by an agnostic or even atheistic media and a consumerism that has turned materialism into a new idolatry.  And we work like dogs for food that we lap up in seconds then we go to work again.  Is this life?

 

"Master, I want to see."

 

Jesus is walking by.  There is no time for Bartimaeus to hesitate.  If he does not take advantage of the presence of the Lord now, he will remain blind forever.

 

"Master, I want to see."

 

We do not know how many opportunities we will have to respond to the presence of the Lord.  Sometimes the doors he opens for us are only opened momentarily.  A teenager hears a subtle challenge to the faith in school and asks his parents how they could believe.  The opportunity is right then and only then to nurture his faith.  A neighbor is looking for someone to speak to.  It is then and only then that we can bring Christ’s love to her.  A husband, a wife is discouraged.  The spouse must be supportive now, not later.  The Lord only gives us so many opportunities in life.  We only have so much time to take advantage of each of them.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

 

Blind Bartimaeus calls out to the Lord invoking the name of David.  David the great king.  David the unifier of the Jewish people.  David who was promised a reign that would never end.  David who was told that one of his descendants, would be greater than he was, greater than he could ever imagine.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

 

The world has longed for the Savior who has been given to us.  Jesus the Christ is the one who brings order into the chaos of our lives.  He is the Great King, the King of Kings.  He is the focal point of the history of mankind.  He is the Son of David and the Eternal Word of the Father.  And he is reaching out to us.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

Bartimaeus realizes that he is at the bottom of his society.  No one has use for a blind beggar.  He’s in the way.  Now, as Jesus walks by, Bartimaeus is making a nuisance of himself.  “Quiet down, Bartimaeus.  You’re embarrassing us.” But he is not embarrassing Jesus.  Jesus sees him, hurts for him, calls him, has mercy on him.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

 

People want to convince us that we are numbers.  They want to convince us that God is too great for us, we are too insignificant.  But no one is insignificant to God.  Jesus sees each of us and loves each of us.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Bartimaeus’ society had no use for the blind.  They were forced to beg for food.  But Jesus saw Bartimaeus, and hurt for him and healed him.  Our society has no use for many people in many stressful circumstances.  They may be infected with a terrible disease like AIDS.  They may be starving in a country of Africa.  They may be mentally ill in America.  Our society may have no use for them and even may have no real use for each of us.  But Jesus sees us.  He hurts for each of us.  He reaches out to heal us.  He calls.  We must go to him.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

 

Bartimaeus realizes that only Jesus can heal him.  He has faith in the Lord.  His faith is the basis of Jesus’ mercy.

 

“Son of David, Have mercy on me.”

 

Some of us suffer from injuries we have inflicted upon ourselves.  Some of us suffer from the way we have been treated by others.  Some of us suffer from ailments caused by no one, but just resulting from our human condition.  We have heart problems, or cancer.  We are caring for a relative with Alzheimer Disease.  We are beside ourselves with our problems and we wonder where can we possibly turn.  Jesus passes by and says “Have faith in me.”

 

“He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek."

 

The eternal Father appointed his son Jesus to care for his people.  He pleads with his Father every day for every one of us.  We are significant because Jesus knows us and loves us and brings our needs to his Father.  He is our eternal priest, forever, like Melchizedek.  We have nothing to fear, ever.

 

“Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD loves his people.”

God loves us.

 

Today and every day we proclaim his love to the world.  He has had mercy on us.  He has given us the gift of sight, the gift of seeing his love in our lives.

 

We have been blessed.  We join Bartimaeus who immediately after he received his sight followed Jesus on the Lord’s way to Jerusalem.  We must join Bartimaeus following the Lord on a new path of greatness, a path of sacrificial love, a path that leads to a New World that is the Kingdom of God.