30th. Sunday in Ordinary Time

On one occasion I was driving in Northern Spain, from Oviedo to Leon over the Pyrenees when I was caught in a dense fog, and I could only see a couple of feet in front of me. I can remember the desperation and helplessness I experienced, aware that I could be driving on the wrong side of the road and if I went too far to the right there was only a thin barrier protecting me from a deep precipice. This experience was short lived. This example will give us some insight into the desperation that the blind man Bartimaeus experienced in today’s gospel before he met Jesus. In the world today, we hear a lot about motivation, we are also supposed to be highly motivated in everything we do and this is not easy. At times we go through moments that are very difficlut and during this past year, we’ve all had many of these moments.  In todays gospel we have a wonderful story; we have the blind man Bartimaeus, sitting at the side of the road. He has no income, he has no security; he has nothing.  He had heard about the wonderful cures that this carpenter from Gallille was doing and he heard that Jesus was coming to his neighbourhood. When Jesus came, he said he wanted to meet him. The disciples of Jesus said to him: courage, get up Jesus is calling you.  We have the  wonderful reaction from this man;  he throws away his beggars cloak,  he jumps up and he runs to Jesus.  Where does he get this energy from?  He gets it from the words of Jesus.  Jesus cures his blindness and now this man becomes a disciple of Jesus.  We too have difficult moments in our lives,  moments when we are disappointed and discouraged, moments when we are tired mentally, physically and emotionally. When this happens, all we have to do is to listen to the voice of Jesus.  He will give us the strength to get back on our feet,  like the blind man Bartimaeus in the gospel; we too can throw away our beggars cloak and get going; no matter how difficult the circumstances are in our lives,  Jesus will always give us the strength we need. There are also many blind beggars in our lives as well, and we too, can bring them to Jesus to be cured. A young priest was teaching in an inner-city high school in Chicago. The school’s budget had no room for things like classroom decorations. One day, when the priest was doing some painting in the room, one of the students offered to help. That student ended up spending over 40 hours helping the priest. After the room was fully redecorated, the priest called the boy’s father and asked him what gift he could get the boy to show him his appreciation.  The father replied, “Don’t get my son anything, Father; just give him the honour of having done something out of the goodness of his heart for you and for his school; and for his community; that is the greatest gift you can give him.’’ There are many people like that father and his son in the world. They are more than willing to help others. And they will do it out of the goodness of their heart. There is a beautiful prayer which spells out in a practical way how we can go about bringing love and joy to our world. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt faith; where there is despair hope; where there is darkness, light; and where the is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life’.