USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
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.
Good News Reflection: Making the most of divine opportunities
After Jesus touches our lives — answers a prayer, gives us a healing, provides a life-changing insight, or makes any other kind of difference — what do we do next? Our life has been changed by divine grace. Do we make the most of this new opportunity?
God never forces us to take a new direction or follow a certain path, not even if we’ve made a bargain with him, such as: “Lord, if you heal me, I will go to Mass every day.”
Jesus says to us what he said to Bartimaeus, the man he healed in this Sunday’s Gospel reading: “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Go where?
Sometimes his instructions are a little more informative than that. When he cures someone from sin, he adds: “Go and sin no more”. Okay, but go where?
Every step we take is important. Where we go and what we do next makes a difference that ripples off into the future with ramifications (blessings and/or woes) that are impossible for us to predict. Jesus isn’t down-playing the significance of this. Rather, what happens next is so important that he wants us to have full control over it.
Jesus told Bartimaeus “Go your way.” And what did Bartimaeus do with that freedom? He “followed him on the way.” He opted for the best possible direction. His life changed dramatically, not only because he had been blind and now he had good eyesight, but because he wanted to learn from Jesus and become one of his followers.
How many times have we returned to an old familiar path after an encounter with Christ? If following him means taking a new direction, getting involved in a new ministry, or changing careers or friends, we too often settle back into old routines. Comfort zones are hard to leave. But following Jesus is a life-changing adventure if we’re sincere about our faith.
Following Jesus and learning from him should be our highest priority. Every encounter with Christ should change us — even at Mass when we reunite ourselves to him in the Eucharist.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
Think of the last time Jesus responded to your need for help. What changed afterward? How long did the change last?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Describe a time when you changed directions in your life because of an encounter with Christ. What did Jesus do for you? How did you figure out which way to go afterward?
I praise You and thank You, Jesus because You called me and opened my eyes to a faith-filled life, full of love for You and for my brothers and sisters. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica