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Open your eyes to God’s love

Based on Jer 31:7-9; Herb 5:1-6; Gospel of Mark 10:35-45
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” (Mk 10:49).

This Sunday’s readings deal with a call from God. In Jeremiah, the Lord calls the people out of captivity in Babylon and back to Jerusalem, preparing the way for a new covenant with them. The reading from Hebrews, again, refers to Jesus as our high priest who was called by God the Father to offer his life for the salvation of all people.

In the Gospel, we learn about Bartimaeus, a blind man from Jericho. He was unable to work and had to beg for money to take care of himself. As he sat by the roadside begging, he heard many people passing by and was told, “Jesus of Nazareth is coming.”

Bartimaeus had heard about Jesus. He started shouting. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” People scolded him, telling him to be quiet. Bartimaeus kept shouting.

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” The people near Bartimaeus said, “Get up. Jesus is calling you. Don’t be afraid.”

Excitedly, Bartimaeus sprang up and threw off his ragged cloak.

Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Bartimaeus answered, “Master, I want to see.”

Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Then and there Bartimaeus could see. Grateful and happy, he joined the crowd and followed Jesus to Jerusalem.

Bartimaeus followed Jesus because his heart – not only his eyes – had been opened by God’s love for him and revealed that Jesus is truly the Son of God.

Bartimaeus is the only person healed by Jesus who is recorded by name in Mark’s Gospel – suggesting that he became a known and active disciple of Jesus in the early church.

Just as Bartimaeus threw off his ragged cloak to get to Jesus, we must “throw off” anything that keeps us from following Jesus.

In this the Year of Faith, Jesus calls us to renew and deepen our commitment to our faith. As we pray the rosary this week, we can meditate on the Luminous Mysteries dealing with Jesus’ public life and how they particularly relate to the sacraments and to what Jesus did in three years of public life to help us on the way to our heavenly Jerusalem.

“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us. We want to see!”