In his reflection on today’s Gospel, Pat Marin makes the following remarks.
Today’s Gospel contains what is perhaps the most important question ever posed in the New Testament.
Jesus summons the blind man Bartimaeus from the crowd and asks him point-blank, “What do you want me to do for you?” We hear Jesus asking each of us the same question today: “What do you want me to do for you?”
Are we wise enough to know what to ask for? What if we ask for the wrong thing – riches that end up destroying us and our families or some temporary good that does not fully satisfy us? Will we waste this opportunity or use it to ask for something unworthy of our dignity, or something good in itself that we are not ready for?
Bartimaeus is our guide: He asks for the most important gift God can give and the one that opens us to every other gift. He says to Jesus, “Master, I want to see.” To see, both physically and spiritually, means that Bartimaeus means that Bartimaeus will be able to make every other decision correctly. He will see what is of real value. He will know what is true. He will judge rightly, will walk confidently in the light of Christ.
The deeper meaning of the story is evident in the fact that the very first thing Bartimaeus sees when he is healed is the face of Jesus. To know Jesus is the key to the Christian life, the focus of all Christian spirituality, the goal of all prayer, study and mystical contemplation. To know Jesus is to know God and to know our true self. There is no good greater than this, no blessing as significant in its effect on us. One who knows Christ achieves full human maturity and has already entered with promise of glory: intimate life with God.
Once he has seen Jesus face to face, there is no other life for him except to be with Jesus, to follow him. He leaves behind his beggar’s cloak, his place along the road, a life of crying out for alms. He joins Jesus and the other disciples on their way to Jerusalem. Like a man in love, he has seen the face of his beloved, and there is no turning back. His heart is fixed on what will truly satisfy him.
Don’t be afraid to pray his prayer. Ask to see. Enter reality with clarity and insight, know life’s priorities and values, always go forward. God’s life will be a lamp unto your feet, one step at a time, guiding you through every trial and storm to glory.
Next weekend, October 31 & November 1, we will have our candle memorial during all of the masses. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one this past year, a candle will be given to you to bring in procession to the front of church where you can name the one you want us to remember in prayer during the month of November. The candle will be for you to take home to remind you to ask God to continue to light your way.