22 Oct 2021

This Week Letter – October 24, 2021

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Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

Today’s readings show us how the prophecy of Jeremiah has been fulfilled both concerning blind Bartimaeus and every “blind soul” who seeks help and begs God for grace and mercy.

The Prophet Jeremiah announces a plan to save the exiles and foretells a glorious new future for them. It is about the reversal of the previous humiliation they suffered from their persecutors. The return of these very people is described in today’s Psalm: “When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming.” Among them were also the blind, like Bartimaeus from today’s Gospel. However, the story is not about his handicap. The truly blind are those who, by departing from God, have lost the light of truth. Saint John in his Gospel writes Jesus’s words: “Father … Your word is truth”; and also, ” and this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (Jn 17:17; 3: 19-21).

The miracle of healing can be accomplished through the power of Christ, the High Priest, and the Eucharistic Liturgy is the fullest expression of this. Jesus heals us using his Word and the Eucharistic Bread. He supernaturally enables us to return to union with God and restores our spiritual sight through the gift of faith.

The miraculous restoration of Bartimaeus’ eyesight, as described today, happened as a result of a loud plea for mercy. Notice that the sick person addresses Jesus using his messianic title, “Son of David,” and then immediately uses “Rabbuni”, that is, “My Master!” Here, a wondrous transformation of the eye and heart takes place. This experience commands Bartimaeus to follow Jesus from then on, whom he recognizes as his master. In this story, our Lord teaches us all that it is faith that heals. The healing described in the Gospel shows us the process of regaining our spiritual sight. Jesus invites us to take the unconventional path to perfection that demands courage in searching for the Truth, and perseverance in following Christ.