Gospel Reflection: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute



OCTOBER 25, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death

and brought life to light through the Gospel.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Gospel of Saint Mark 10: 46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.  

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”  And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.   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.”   Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”   Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

The Gospel of the Lord


This Gospel passage from Saint Mark contains one of my favorite Gospel stories.  The story is so straight forward and simple that every reader is quickly pulled into the events and forever remembers the story down to the fine details.  We have learned during this year dedicated to Mark’s Gospel that just because his stories are short, and on the surface uncomplicated, that does not mean that they lack deeper meaning.  It seems more the truth that because Saint Mark’s Gospel is a short and quick narrative, the author weighs his every word and carefully chooses his vocabulary so that he proclaims exactly what he means!

The recipient of Jesus’ attention and power is Bartimaeus, a blind man.  The meaning of the name Bar-Timaeus can be gotten by translating the Aramaic bar and the Greek name Timaeus as Son of Timaeus, or Son of the One who is Highly Praised.  However, some scholars see the second part of the name as a derivative of the Hebrew word (tame) that could be translated Son of the Unclean One!

If we combine the meaning of both translations, we could say that Bartimaeus, the Son of the Highly Praised and Unclean one is in need of the kind of healing that would provide both spiritual as well as physical wellness.  By the grace of our Baptism we can see that the blind man is devoid of more than physical sight; he is without faith which alone makes one whole, clean and justified before God!  The story is not just about one man who is lost and unable to find his way.  The Gospel reveals the condition of everyone who is in need of true faith which makes a person whole, clean and just.

Like those in the world without Christ, without Baptismal Light and Sight, Bartimaeus cries out to the One alone who can purify his body and spirit, and provide him with the enlightenment to recognize Jesus, (the) son of David as also Immanuel, God with us!  Not even the rebuke of the crowd can silence the man’s desire to see, the desire to really see life’s purpose and destiny.  Of course it takes courage to put everything else aside and place one’s complete life into the hands of Christ.  That is why we must never grow tired of encouraging each other to walk in the ways of faith — Take courage; get up.  Yet each step taken in faith becomes easier because Jesus is (the one) calling you.   Seek His voice daily, and you will have the courage to follow in His footsteps. Listen to His Word; Cry out that you want to see; and follow Him, and Him alone.  And along with the sight that only Jesus can give, one is given the pledge of the Beatific Vision of Heaven – the eternal sight of God!

The complete surrender of the blind man to Jesus in faith is demonstrated by the change of the position of the man from the beginning of the story to the end.  While the man is blind, he is seated by the side of the road, but with faith he is willing to abandon his wayward position and follow after Jesus.  Even when Jesus says: Go your way the man does not go his own way, but instead takes to himself the way of Christ.

This dramatic ending becomes even more apparent when we realize that before the followers of Christ were called Christians, they were first called the people of the way!!   Truly, Bartimaeus becomes the Gospel example of every person who, at the invitation of Jesus gives up their own way of life and become the people of Christ’s way!

Continuing in the theme of the last number of weeks, today’s Gospel provides another significant example of a true disciple of Jesus – a blind man who when given sight uses it to follow after the Light of Life!


Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details: MalvernRetreat.com


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