Click to hear Audio Homily
This Friday, Bishop Muench visited Ascension Catholic School students in their classrooms. While he was in the senior religion class, he said, “I’m now going to read your mind. I see that you are worried about where you’re going to go and what you’re going to do next year when you graduate high school.” The students all nodded in agreement. (He was such a great mind reader!) We all experience the fear of the path unknown. This fear and worry can make us feel like being blind at times. Are you experiencing this fear or worry at this time? What can we learn from Bartimaeus’ experience with Jesus?
Bartimaeus in the Gospel lived all his life blind; that’s the only life he had known. Was he happy with his way of life? No, because we see him calling out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me,” hoping that Jesus can change his life. Jesus approached him and asked, “What do you want me to do for you,” and Bartimaeus replied, “Master, I want to see.” Bartimaeus wanted to exchange what had been his world for something better that the Lord could give. We can imagine when Bartimaeus was healed and was able to see, he saw the world of possibilities for himself--now he could work, (he could date), he could travel and expand his horizon. Yet, he chose one thing only--to follow Jesus. He didn’t just gain sight; he gained faith.
Physical sight is a great gift, but Jesus didn’t come on earth to give us physical sight. He came to give us the kind of sight that enables us to perceive heavenly realities. St. Paul put it this way, “Once you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” (Eph 5:8) There is a blindness worse than physical blindness--the blindness of unbelief that the world revolves only around me. Jesus’ encounter unlocked Bartimaeus’ heart. It set him free; it healed him; it gave him hope and a new life as a disciple of Jesus.
If Jesus was to approach you personally today, what would you ask him to do for you? Would you ask for Jesus to immediately solve a pressing problem or take away a worry or suffering? Or would you ask him, “Jesus, show me how I can be a more faithful servant of yours--how to be generous without counting the cost, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, only desiring that I do your will.”
-Fr. Paul Yi