March 3, 2011
Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Sirach 42: 15-25
Mark 10: 46-52
Bartimaeus, the young blind man whom we meet in today’s Gospel Reading, cries out to Jesus: “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.”
Although he is physically blind, he is able to “see” Christ through “his eyes of Faith,” so to say. He acknowledges Jesus as God and Messiah. We also note that Bartimaeus is not put off by the stern rebukes of those in the crowd who were, as St. Mark writes:…telling him to be quiet!” On the contrary, the young man kept calling out.
Jesus directs that Bartimaeus be brought to Him. And, in response to a simple request, Master, I wish to Lee,” Christ commends the young man for his strong faith and restores his sight immediately.
In a gesture which is often characteristic of young people, Bartimaeus responded vigorously. St. Mark tells us: “…he threw aside his cloak, sprang up and came to Jesus.”
Physical blindness is imposed from the outside. We are uncertain about the cause of Bartimaeus; condition. The text does not tell us whether the blindness was congenital or caused by an accident or disease.
But the Gospel text brings to mind another, more serious condition: spiritual blindness. It is more serious because it is one that is chosen by the person himself; it is not imposed from the outside.
Spiritual blindness is caused by personal sin, those which a person himself commits. These personal sins darken the intellect and weaken the will. The sinner is no longer able to see clearly all that pertains to the Spiritual Order, to his own condition of soul.
If this condition persists, the person finds himself separated from Christ and His Grace. The spiritual remedy, or medicine, for this spiritual blindness is a humble, truthful and sincere Sacramental Confession.
Should a person find himself in this state, he should go to confession and make his own, the words of the young Bartimaeus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”