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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rev 1:1-4; 2:1-5a): The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must happen soon. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: «Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne». I heard the Lord saying to me: «To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this: The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this: I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors. Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent».
Responsorial Psalm: 1
R/. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.

He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 8:12): Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 18:35-43): As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.

They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

“Your faith has saved you”

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the blind beggar Bartimaeus (cf. Mk 10:46) gives us a complete lesson about faith, expressed with total simplicity in front of Christ. It would be good for us to repeat, every now and then, Bartimaeus' prayer: “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” (Lk 18:37). It is so profitable for our soul to feel destitute! Because we certainly are so though, unfortunately, very seldomly are we willing to admit it. And..., consequently, we make fools of ourselves. It is for that reason St. Paul reproaches us, when he says: “Who confers distinction upon you? What do you possess that you have not received? But if you have received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?” (1Cor 4:7).

Bartimaeus is not ashamed of feeling like that. Quite often, our society, the culture of the “politically correct”, will try to shut us up: with Bartimaeus they were not able to. He did not shrink back: “The people (…) rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” (Lk 18:39). What a wonderful thing! We feel like saying: Thank you Bartimaeus for this example.

And it does pay to do like him, because Jesus does listen. He always listens!, no matter how much noise some may make around us. Bartimaeus' simple but complete trust —uncomplicated— disarmed Jesus and got to his heart: “and ordered that he be brought to him, and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Lk 18:40-41). Before so much faith, Jesus does not waste his time! And... neither does Bartimaeus: “Lord, please let me see.” (Lk 18:41). And, no sooner said than done: “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” (Lk 18:42). Because, if “our faith is solid as a rock, it will also defend our home” (St. Ambrose), that is, it will overcome everything.

He is everything, He gives us everything. What else can we, then, do in his presence but give him a reply of faith? And this “reply of faith” is equivalent to “let him find us”, this God that —because of his affection for the Father— is looking for us from the very beginning. God does not impose himself against our power of choice, but often enough He comes by close enough: let us, then, learn Bartimaeus' lesson and... let us not miss him!