Today’s Gospel continues the lessons in what it means to become a disciple of Jesus. Bartimaeus is blind and sitting by himself along the road when Jesus walks by. He calls out to Jesus and continues to do so even when he is told to keep quiet. Bartimaeus knew that only Jesus could heal him and he was not going to allow anything or anyone put him off.
The First Reading tells the story of an Israelite people broken in spirit. They had been exiled from their homeland. They are encouraged to be resilient in faith as God is the one who can provide healing and restoration.
Both stories remind us of the need to hold on to our faith in times of adversity. For that we need to show resilience. Blindness is not just a physical thing. It can be spiritual as well and when it is it can become a barrier in our relationships with God and others. It is at those times we need to show the resilient faith of Bartimaeus and call out to God to help us and not allow anything or anyone to get in our way. Bartimaeus did not have faith because he was cured.
His faith was already present and this allowed him to be healed. The depth of Bartimaeus’ faith was demonstrated by what happened after he was healed. “He received his sight and followed him on the way.” He used the gift of seeing for its highest and ultimate purpose: to see God and to be seen by Him. St Augustine says, “The deepest desire of the human heart is to see another and be seen by that other.”
Today’s Gospel invites us to reflect on the questions how deep and resilient is my faith? What is it that God wants me to see at this point in my life?