Dear Followers of Jesus,
From Mark 10: 46- 52, we hear, “Jesus said to him in reply, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’”
This blind man along the roadside is the person who really saw and understood Jesus. He saw with his heart. His vision was about faith, not only about his eyes being restored. Blindness teaches us about this stranger named Jesus. Although he was a powerless person, Bartimaeus becomes the voice of power and recognition in his faith.
These gospel stories at the center of our worship in recent weeks reveal to us what it means to live out our baptismal promises. “Vision” is a metaphor for those who have been born again in Jesus’ time and in our day as well. Sight and vision show us that there is more to our lives than what is on the surface. There is more to Jesus than what first meets the eye. This “vision” in the gospel story is about our enlightenment from the resurrection of Christ Jesus, revealing truth, healing and justice.
Bartimaeus’ gut-reaction to Jesus shows us how to see as well. We are often blind to many aspects of our lives. We often do not know the full story of many situations in our world. We may believe we know all the answers to questions that are not even ours. We are even blind to our own motivations. We are blind to how people survive homelessness or the heart-wrenching decisions people make to move their parent into a nursing home or to make a decision not to have another child. Bartimaeus teaches us that faith must be our guide and that to see as Jesus sees is not an easy task. Faith shows us patience and awareness. We pray for wide-eyed faith.
Within the Mass, we offer our lives, our sin and doubt to Christ Jesus. We pray for a way of “seeing,” the way he sees. Faith witnesses to things that are unseen by the world. We pray to be brought into a vision of love, a view of mercy among sinners and a long view of justice in our world. Bartimaeus shows us that to really see as Jesus saw is a process of deep and abiding faith. Faith is not a commodity. Faith is not something that gives us all the answers immediately. Faith is not a pair of rose-colored glasses in our present day. Faith is a way of seeing that shows us the long view of life. Our prayer is a long, loving look into the mystery of God.
Bartimaeus saw Jesus in his blindness. Jesus is also present in our blindness. Sometimes it is in the darkness that we come to know the real presence of Jesus’ love and mercy and protection. We walk by faith, not by sight.
On November 1, we celebrate All Saints by honoring all the saints who have walked by faith. November provides reflection and payer as we remember all of our dead, including All Souls. The bulletin cover this week expresses our ancestors in faith and our connection to the dead by displaying the new relics that were donated to Sacred Heart Church These relics are housed in the niche with the Santos (art given to Fr. Clem by the Hispanic Community). They are from Germany and were donated by Hanni and Sheridan West. Saints and angels, pray for us!