First Reading
Jeremiah 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.

Second Reading
Hebrews 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.

Gospel Cycle Cycle B
Mark 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.

Shout with joy today because the Lord has delivered His people! Every day we can shout and sing with joy because we are delivered and made free. Many of us do not experience that freedom very deeply or we do not believe in it. Today’s readings want us to meditate on that freedom and try to understand it more profoundly. We are invited to experience that freedom in our daily lives and in the way that we make our choices. We have been freed by Christ and invited to live in that freedom.

The Prophet Jeremiah, in our first reading, reflect on the captivity. The remnant of Israel, taken into captivity, is now freed to return to the promised land and begin to live there once again. For us today, there is a need to recognize that often we are taken into captivity by the values of our present world. So much of what we believe is dictated by the culture. We accept so easily the values of pleasure, power, wealth, sexuality and seeking only what I want and what makes me happy for the moment. These are the values of the world. They are not entirely bad and that is why they seduce us. We hear at times people saying: “Surely God would not want you to suffer!” or “What kind of a God would want you not to have the things that bring you happiness?”

What we forget is that this present world will pass away. The choices that we make in this world are not only for now, but for the world to come. When we begin to recognize that our Lord invites us to live in awareness of another world, another set of values, another reality that is present even now but not yet fully present. Today so many of us simply forget about the “life in the world to come,”

The miracles that we find in the Gospel can remind us over and over that there is a power and a reality that reaches through the veil that separates this world from the world to come. Not every prayer brings a miracle, but miracles are always happening. Even if we took all faith out of the world, there are happenings that speak to the most ordinary people about another level of reality which shines through into our ordinary reality from time to time. This can be called, theologically, a “theophany.” That simply means that God shines through from divinity into our humanity. But most of us don’t speak in that kind of theological language. Instead, we might speak of the surprise that we experience when a miracle happens. It is almost as if we always hope for miracles and yet think that they will never happen to me.

Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus, hoping for something to happen. And his sight is restored. Now Bartimaeus can really see. We might ask ourselves today if we really see. We see with our worldly eyes, that are not blind. But do we see the presence of God shining through our world? Do we recognize the freedom that we can have? Do we want that freedom and that capacity to choose for the good? Let us ask God to open our eyes so that we can rejoice today and return from captivity.