Greetings everyone on this 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Today’s Gospel contains one of the most powerful greetings of our Lord. We hear of the blind man, Bartimaeus, greeting Christ Jesus with: “Son of David, have pity on me.” Mk 10:46. Imagine greeting our Lord in this way! Later in the story, the Lord heals Bartimaeus of his blindness Bartimaeus follows Him on the way. There is so much here we can take into our own lives.
First, it is important to note that this healing was preceded by Bartimaeus’s confession of sorts. This pleading by Bartimaeus can help us see how important it is to ask for His mercy, His pity, His grace to heal our own blindness. Bartimaeus’s situation as a blind person who cannot see the Lord and His way is intended to stir up in each of us a desire to recognize our blindness, to acknowledge this and then reach out trusting in His mercy and desire to heal us. How important the sacrament of confession is for each of us. Because of the healing nature of this sacrament, I find it always wonderful to celebrate with people. I’ve heard confessions in some beautiful churches throughout the world and in some of the most dangerous and deplorable environments. It is always truly awesome to be a part of no matter where it is celebrated. Did I mention we added Confession every Wednesday night from 6-7pm?
Second, it is important to see what happens to Bartimaeus when his sight is corrected. What happens to him when his blindness is healed? He can now see. What does he do? The Gospel tells us Bartimaeus follows our Lord on the way. Previously he could not follow our Lord. Previously, Bartimaeus could not be part of the way of the Lord. He did not know how or where or when to go… he was blind. But now healed of the blindness he became part of Jesus Christ’s mission. And this is my point for us all. Healed in the sacrament of confession, we can see and therefore we should follow His way. We can see and be part of His mission in this world.
In fact, we have a word for this mission. The word I am thinking of is “evangelization.” This word means simply to continue the mission our Lord began. That mission is to bring the good news to those who have not heard; that mission is to bring into God’s life those marginalized or somehow hindered from coming into His life. Those removed from God’s life may be folks we see at church! They may be there but not really entering into worship and glorifying God. We have all been baptized into His life and His way and His mission. We are all called to continue the mission of evangelizing that Jesus Christ began.
We as individuals and as a corporate body are sent into the world at the end of each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to evangelize the world. In fact, the word Mass means mission. Go in Peace, glorifying the Lord by your life. I hope that sounds familiar.
And I will conclude with the mission statement of our parish:
St. Mary Parish is a Roman Catholic church called to love as a Eucharistic Community in order to fulfill each member’s baptismal mission to evangelize the world as disciples of Jesus Christ.