I love the story of Bartimaeus. He could listen. Imagine his interior silence - Bartimaeus' recollection was so deep, so intense - he heard Jesus approaching - amidst the fervent clamor and enthusiasm of the crowd. Likewise, the heart of Jesus sensed - heard the prayer of the blind man. This exchange is prayer - deep prayer. As Jesus approached, Bartimaeus called out more ardently, more loudly - those nearby tried to silence him, they tried to stop him. Nevertheless, Christ heard him and called him. That is so profound. So reassuring for me.
Fr. Martin re-posted what the Holy Father had to say in regard to this Gospel today. It sums up everything for me. How much we have learned from the Synod, how deep has been the exchange - heart speaks to heart - so loudly - no one could silence ... So many see doom, I see life, love, and mercy.
"There are, however, some temptations for those who follow Jesus. The Gospel shows at least two of them. None of the disciples stopped, as Jesus did. They continued to walk, going on as if nothing were happening. If Bartimaeus was blind, they were deaf: his problem was not their problem. This can be a danger for us: in the face of constant problems, it is better to move on, instead of letting ourselves be bothered. In this way, just like the disciples, we are with Jesus but we do not think like him. We are in his group, but our hearts are not open. We lose wonder, gratitude and enthusiasm, and risk becoming habitually unmoved by grace. We are able to speak about him and work for him, but we live far from his heart, which is reaching out to those who are wounded. This is the temptation: a 'spirituality of illusion': we can walk through the deserts of humanity without seeing what is really there; instead, we see what we want to see. We are capable of developing views of the world, but we do not accept what the Lord places before our eyes. A faith that does not know how to root itself in the life of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts.
"There is a second temptation, that of falling into a “scheduled faith”. We are able to walk with the People of God, but we already have our schedule for the journey, where everything is listed: we know where to go and how long it will take; everyone must respect our rhythm and every problem is a bother. We run the risk of becoming the 'many' of the Gospel who lose patience and rebuke Bartimaeus. Just a short time before, they scolded the children (10:13), and now the blind beggar: whoever bothers us or is not of our stature is excluded. Jesus, on the other hand, wants to include, above all those kept on the fringes who are crying out to him. They, like Bartimaeus, have faith, because awareness of the need for salvation is the best way of encountering Jesus.
"In the end, Bartimaeus follows Jesus on his path (v. 52). He did not only regain his sight, but he joined the community of those who walk with Jesus. - Finish reading here.
Oh God, I want to see,
grant that I may see, rather than seek to be seen,
grant that I may hear, rather than seek to be heard,
Grant that I may follow you
and remain in your company,
moment by moment,
day by day.
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains." - John 9:41
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner.