Like Bartimaeus, we cannot stand before the presence of Jesus
“They arrived in Jericho. When Jesus, his disciples and a large crowd, left there, he was sitting by the path, begging Bartimaeus, who was blind, the son of Timaeus. Knowing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout: ‘Jesus, son of David, in compassion for me!’ Many scolded him to keep quiet, but he shouted even louder: ‘Son of David, have compassion on me!’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ They called the blind man, saying, ‘Courage! Get up, he calls you. ‘ Throwing the cloak out, the blind man jumped up and went to him. Jesus, taking the floor, asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Raboni, answered the blind man, let me see! Jesus said to him, ‘Go, your faith has saved you.’ At the same moment, he recovered his sight and followed Jesus along the way ”(Mk 10, 46-52).
Who was Bartimaeus? What would be the story of that man known not for his life, trajectory, gifts, potential, but for the physical mark that limited him and conditioned him to an existential situation of suffering and misery? The sacred text tells us that he was the son of Timaeus. Great! But who was Timaeus? It may seem casual to not clarify the details about the characters, but, in fact, it is a beautiful providence, because, at some point, will I be the blind or is it being you now, given the situation you are experiencing. Therefore, more important than doing a historical-sociological reflection, let us immerse ourselves in the kerigmatic essence of this episode.
Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com
Jesus was already a publicly recognized person because of the signs and wonders he was doing. Exactly for this reason, when arriving at Jericho, a large crowd followed him. They were eager for the novelty brought by their words and their life. We can imagine how the crowd followed Jesus, surrounding Him on all sides, in an attempt to walk beside Him, touch Him, talk to Him. But that was not where Bartimaeus was. His blindness, throughout his life, had deprived him of many dreams. From the most fundamental ones, like watching the sunrise, the faces of your family members, to the more general ones, like exercising a profession or starting a family. That way, he was effectively by the way. He stayed there, because that was what he had left. Sitting, begging, by the way, for life itself.
Learn from Bartimaeus
We, like Bartimaeus, have heard a lot about Jesus. We know who He is. However, we cannot use sensory vision to see Jesus. How many of those who were with the Lord on the road to Jericho, even though they saw Him, never saw Him! They were so focused on their miracles that they forgot to look at the Lord. And so we are also tempted to behave. We cannot see the goods of heaven with the eyes of the earth. In this way, we are left out of what we could be. God conceived us with a design, a purpose, with a spark of the eternal. The trick of the evil one is to fixate on the temporal, the physical and the ephemeral, begging for an accomplishment that we can only find in God.
Bartimaeus, although blind, was not accommodated in this situation. So much so that, as soon as he knew that the reason for that coming agitation was Jesus, he did not hesitate and began to shout: “Jesus, son of David, have compassion on me!”. Even though he was scolded by some, for keeping silent, he shouted even louder: “Jesus, Son of David, have compassion on me!” Jesus then stops and orders, “Call him.”
.: The true values taught by Jesus
.: Keep walking
.: May I see!
.: Get out of the darkness
In the model of interpersonal relationships that today’s society proposes to us, in which we have all rights and almost no duty, it is easy to think that the world should understand, accept and be conditioned to what we are. That way, if something needs to change, it’s certainly not us. Others are wrong, they don’t understand them, they act badly with us and they don’t know what we’re going through. We change work, marriage, neighborhood, appearance and religion, but we don’t change ourselves, we don’t submit to changing our interior. In order to overcome our blindness, we need to get out of our comfort zone, where we are the center of our own life and invite Jesus to the center. That is what the blind man did. He disregarded his limitation, the people who discouraged him, the shame of public exposure and called for Jesus. And so we must also proceed. Let us not be paralyzed, plastered. The Lord is standing before us, waiting for our invitation, our call and our cry.