Reading: Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:48.
Good morning, happy Thursday and many blessings.
Today’s Gospel (Mark 10:46-52) remind us that sometimes in life, we feel stuck, incapable of making a decision, confused. Generally, it’s because we feel as though we don’t see ourselves clearly; we don’t see the situation clearly or which way to go to get out of it.
Perhaps that’s because things just aren’t clear, to begin with but many times it is we who pull the wool over our own eyes: we prefer not to see. It is no accident that when one is depressed, he closes the shades and seek refuge in sleep, in the illusion that we can distance ourselves from reality. Many times, we blind ourselves, like Oedipus. We refuse to look at the consequences of our own choices.
Sometimes it’s the weight of our past that holds us back because we feel as if we cannot change. We can feel utterly lost, like a bottle of oil shattered on the pavement, like the pitiless time that slips through our hands without hope of ever being recovered.
Bartimaeus is a little like this. And maybe it’s not by chance that the encounter described in this Gospel passage happens in Jericho – the city built below sea level, the city that represents the abyss of humanity, our miseries, the places into which we feel sunken, depressed and especially alone.
Bartimaeus was an irritation to the crowd; they asked him to keep quiet, they were embarrassed by the attention he was drawing. Might there be some part of me that I prefer to keep silent? I lead all my needs be given expression as I am here in prayer.
Without his cloak the blind man could be even more lost - he would lose protection from the elements. It was one of his most essential possessions. In going to Jesus, he let it go. In prayer there is much letting-go. We hand over disappointments, hurts and grief as best we can. We hand them over to the one who loves us and gives much more in return.
I sometimes open my eyes in the morning, and do not notice the sunshine, the green of trees, the colors in my room, the warmth or sorrow in the faces around me. If I had been blind, like Bartimaeus in today's gospel, I would long to open my eyes and see all that is to be seen. I could not have enough of this light-filled world around me.
Like the people's who scolded Bartimaeus, telling him to be quiet and not to bring shame on them, I may sometimes prefer to keep the less presentable parts of my life out of Jesus' sight. Thinking of this scene, I realize that Jesus wants to stop, to listen to my plea for help and to cure me.