Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today's Gospel

Most of us probably got a homily about healing faith or what it means to truly see. Good stuff. In the midst of the reading, though, I noticed a couple of separate things that I've never really caught before.

First, there's this bit:

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Mark 10:47-48

I was thinking about some folks I know who basically refuse to pray for something more than once, thinking that repeated requests indicate a lack of faith. Bartimaeus here gives an accounting for perseverance. Even though Jesus isn't paying him any attention at that moment and with people harassing him for trying to get some face time with the Messiah, he still keeps on hollering. He clearly doesn't lack faith. In fact, his pleas show tremendous faith in that he believes he will be answered and needs no immediate response to re-assure him. He never lets despair, scruples, or whatever take over.

Second, there was this:

And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."

Mark 10:49

This is a very "communion of saints"-ish passage. Jesus doesn't go over to the guy. He tells his people to get the guy and bring him over. Then, the people give Bartimaeus strength and encouragement to get up and move. After this pep talk, he "sprang up" to go to Jesus. Sounds like he was happy to hear the news that Jesus wanted to see him. Remember this the next time people are nagging you about the intercession of our glorified brethren.

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