Collect of the Day:
Lord, give us true knowledge of our salvation,
so that freed from the hands of our enemies
we may serve you without fear all the days of our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
The First Reading: I Peter: 2:2-5. 9-12: You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness.
The Gospel: Mark: 10:46-52: Master let me see.
Bartimaeus was blind and a beggar, this would have been two strikes against him in the society in which he lived. He would have been considered a fringe dweller, one on the very edge of society one hardly worth noting, unless you had a little pity for the man and dropped him a shekel or two, being grateful that you were not in his position. A little like the saying we have in Western Society for those whose lot is less fortunate than our own:
“But there for the grace of God, go I.”
Some would have regarded Bartimaeus’s situation as partly being of his own doing or fault. Perhaps he was very sinful or his parents were, and he was reaping what he or they had sown. This is sort of a Hebraic form of the Eastern view of Karma, we can see this philosophy in John 9:2, when the Disciples asked Jesus:
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Bartimaeus would have only been all too familiar with this kind of thinking, and after years perhaps, of being subjected to it believed that somehow he was a defective human being. We all know that being constantly told that you are a sinner, or unworthy, a joke just because you do not conform to the “Ideal” or “Stereotypic” vision of what is presented as being the so called “Normal” standard of society can have a detrimental effect on ones self worth and self esteem.
But Bartimaeus would not be silenced once he heard that Jesus was approaching, he cried with all his might despite the protests of those who scolded him beseeching Jesus:
“Son of David, Jesus have pity on me.”
And Jesus heard him stopped and listened to his plea. Not regarding Bartimeaus as being unworthy of His time granted him, his request and healed him saying:
“Go; your faith has saved you.”
Just imagine if Bartimeaus had of kept his silence like those around him had of wanted, those who perhaps thought they were more worthy to be in the presence of Jesus. He would have missed his chance of healing, both of his bodily ailments and his psychological and spiritual maladies as well. This is such a timely message for us all. Never, ever let anyone make you feel that you are unworthy of the Love, Forgiveness and Divine Mercy of Our Blessed Lord, because it just is not true.
No matter where you are or what you have done God is there waiting for you. No matter how low you feel, God will hear you if you turn to Him in Faith and cry with all your might:
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”
Saint Peter today tells us that Jesus Himself was the ‘Connerstone that was rejected.’ So Jesus understands rejection. He also tells us that, ‘God has called us out of the darkness into His wonderful light’, that ‘Once we were not a people at all but are now are the People of God.’ So let us raise our voices with the courage of Bartimaeus and the other People of God, and let our voices be heard form the edge, so that we cannot, and will not be ignored any more.