This week we hear the cry of Bartimaeus and Jesus responding to him. He believed Jesus could heal him, he desired to see again and he went to Jesus leaving his old self behind.
Fr. Martin explained that we have the desire within us that gives us our identity. He told the story of a duck that longed to swim. The duck was made to believe that it was a land bird and did not have a choice but to eat dead fish along the shores. The duck desired to swim like the heron and catch fresh fish for food. One day the duck attempted to swim after he was encouraged by the heron to try. Slowly the duck began to swim and realised that he too was a bird of the sea. The duck came to discover his God-given identity and potential as a swimmer.
Similarly, said Fr. Martin, Bartimaeus too had a desire. He was a beggar by the roadside. He had a deep desire to see again and regain his identity. He knew he needed Jesus, he desired to be more than just a blind beggar. And so he cried out “Jesus, Son of David, Have Mercy on Me!“.
Jesus heard his call and stopped. He then got his disciples to call Bartimaeus. Jesus asked Bartimaeus:
“What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)
If Jesus were to ask you the same question, what would you ask for? Do you know your deepest desire?
The duck wanted to reach its potential. Bartimaeus wanted to see and live a life of dignity as a child of God. He wanted a new life. He was willing to give up his old self for the new life he received.
“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.”St Thomas Aquinas
What do you believe in? What do you desire? Do you know what to do?
Pope John Paul II warned us that “Never as much as today has man been tempted to believe that he is self-sufficient, capable of building with his own hands his own salvation.”
In a noisy world, we may believe what we are told like the duck or told to be quiet like in the case of Bartimaeus. Salvation comes from God but it requires a free will to cry out in prayer like Bartimaeus knowing he was powerless and needed Jesus. – SR