30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B – 2009 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.
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
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.
Can we also call on the Lord and ask Him to have pity on us? The humility of Bartimaeus is incredible and we can admire it. More importantly it must become a goal of our life. Every day we must have this courage to turn to the Lord and ask him to give us what is lacking in our lives. Most of all we need to ask our Lord for faith, hope and love. We can also ask for everything physical that we need: for money, for food, for health, for sight, for hearing, for freedom from disease, etc.
Too often perhaps we forget to carry on this kind of conversation with our Lord. The first reading, from the Prophet Jeremiah, tells us clearly that God is our father and loves us. God wants to care for us and only asks that we turn to Him. This is so simple and yet so often we do not turn to God in our problems, in the challenges of our life or even in the difficulties which we face.
The Letter to the Hebrews points out today that Jesus is truly human and can hear us. Jesus is a priest and is willing to intercede for us always. Jesus does not take this honor on Himself but it is given to Him by the Father. So also the Father wants to love us and we are asked to respond to that love.
Bartimaeus is a wonderful example to us of someone who wanted something so much that he was willing to call out and ask Jesus to help him and to heal him. Bartimaeus challenges us to become as simple and as humble as he is. He is not afraid to call on the Lord, to ask to have what he wants, to insist really that Jesus help him.
Each of us can ask: what is my relationship with God? What is my image of God? Is God truly a Father for me? Is Jesus someone on whom I can call at all times? Do I have any sense of the Holy Spirit inspiring me and drawing me into the mysteries of life and of divine presence?
As we look at our own answers to these questions, we find more about ourselves and our relationship with the living God. The point is never to think badly of ourselves but only to realize how much God loves us and invites us to share in His life. Let us commit ourselves to living this incredible mystery more and more each day! Lord Jesus, have mercy on me!