Saturday, August 21, 2010

Small Seed Bartimaeus

Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was a blind man in the Bible who cried out "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" (Mark 10:46-52, Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 18:35-43) He only appeared in this one incident and it is a brief story. However, despite this small appearance his great act of faith and desire for Jesus' healing has given countless souls inspiration to draw closer to Jesus.
He realizes that no one but Jesus could heal his blindness. Just as Jesus healed physical infirmities, He also heals the soul. We may not be blind in our sight, but more often than not we are blind to something spiritual. Almost all of us realize that there is something we are unable to see. As St Paul put it, "At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known." (1 COR 13:12) Not only that but all of us know our spiritual handicaps, the thorn in our flesh. Blind or not all of us could do to pray as Bartimaeus did for Jesus to heal our weakness and our infirmities, physical and spiritual.
Among those who have been inspired by Bartimaeus is St Josemaria Escriva:
But poor Bartimaeus would not listen to them. He cried out all the more: Son of David, have pity on me. Our Lord, who had heard him right from the beginning, let him persevere in his prayer. He does the same with you. Jesus hears our cries from the very first, but he waits. He wants us to be convinced that we need him. He wants us to beseech him, to persist, like the blind man waiting by the road from Jericho...
And now begins a dialogue with God, a marvelous dialogue that moves us and sets our hearts on fire, for you and I are now Bartimaeus. Christ, who is God, begins to speak and asks, Quid tibi vis faciam? What do you want me to do for you? The blind man answers, Lord, that I may see. (Mk 10:51). How utterly logical! How about yourself, can you really see? Haven’t you too experienced at times what happened to the blind man of Jericho? I can never forget how, when meditating on this passage many years back, and realizing that Jesus was expecting something of me, though I myself did not know what it was, I made up my own aspirations: Lord, what is it you want? What are you asking of me? I had a feeling that he wanted me to take on something new and the cry Rabboni, ut videam, Master, that I may see, moved me to beseech Christ again and again, Lord, whatever it is that you wish, let it be done.


May all of us persevere in faith and prayer.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

1 comment:

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

I have thought these same thoughts myself often, and also, "Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief." An encouraging thought here: I've never been refused the spiritual insights I've asked for. Anything that puzzles me eventually gets answered. Jesus loves that we ask. It's a way to love Him better.