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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1st Reading (Jer 31:7-9): Thus says the Lord: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The Lord has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.
Responsorial Psalm: 125
R/. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.

Then they said among the nations, «The Lord has done great things for them». The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.

Restore our fortunes, o Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.
2nd Reading (Heb 5:1-6): Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Tim 1:10b): Alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 10:46-52): As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

«‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’»

+ Fr. Pere CAMPANYÀ i Ribó (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we can see a man who, amidst his own aches and pains, finds his true happiness thanks to Jesus Christ. It is a person with two shortcomings: he cannot see and he is unable to work for a living, which forces him to beg. He needs help and he is sitting by the roadside, outside Jericho, where a lot of people pass by.

He is lucky to be there when Jesus is leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd. Obviously, that blind man has heard about Jesus; he must have been told about the miracles He did, so when hearing He is passing by, he starts to call out: “Son of David, have pity on me.” (Mk 10:47). The people who were going along with the Master tell the man to be quiet; they do not think of his sad personal situation, they are being selfish; but Jesus does care about the beggar and tells them to call him. Immediately, the blind man jumps up and goes to the Son of David beginning their dialogue with a question and an answer: “Jesus said to him in reply, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’” (Mk 10:51). And Jesus grants him the gift of a double sight: the corporeal sight and most importantly, the faith which is the inner vision of God. St. Clement of Alexandria says: “Let us put an end to the oblivion of the truth; let us unclothe our heart and dispel the ignorance and darkness that, as a cloud, darkens our eyes, and let us contemplate he who is really God.”

We often complain when we say: —I do not know how to pray. Let us then follow the example of the blind man in the Gospel: He insists on calling Jesus, and he tells him what he needs with just three words. We need more faith? Let us just say: —O Lord, increase my faith. We have relatives or friends who have ceased to practice their Catholic faith? Let us make this prayer: “O Lord, let them see again.” Is faith so important? What shall we say if we compare it with the physical sight? The blind man’s condition was very sad, but much sadder is the life of the unbelievers. Let us tell them: —The Master calls you, place your needs before him and Jesus will generously reward you.