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Call and Answer
Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, my friend and my savior, I come to you today to thank you for the gift of faith. Sometimes I am blinded by fear and yet you help me see that there is truly nothing to fear as long as I’m with you. You direct my heart and my mind towards you, and you fill me with the peace of your Spirit. Help me to grow in confidence in living my faith each day.
- A Humble Heart: Bartimaeus teaches us about humility. As Jesus passed by, he called out unreservedly, even though people were telling him to keep silent. In the depths of his heart, he was humble enough to admit he needed Jesus’s mercy to heal him. “Have pity on me,” he pleaded. Sometimes, we are so blinded by our pride that we are unable to sense how near Jesus is to us. Or we are hindered by what we think others might say. It takes humility and courage to admit that we can do nothing on our own and that we need Jesus. Only with Jesus is everything possible.
- A Collaboration: When Jesus heard Bartimaeus calling for him, Jesus did a surprising thing. He didn’t walk up to Bartimaeus; rather, he asked Bartimaeus to come to him. In doing so, Jesus involved the crowd who told Bartimaeus, “Take courage, get up.” Jesus always wants us to collaborate with him. When we do our part, whatever the Holy Spirit inspires through our gifts, we allow Jesus to heal and restore those around us as he healed Bartimaeus.
- The Cloak of the Past: When Bartimaeus responded to Jesus’s call, “he threw aside his cloak” and followed him. The cloak of Bartimaeus represented his old life, which he tossed aside as he “sprang up” to go to Jesus. Are we ready to set aside our past, our sin and darkness, and whatever is blinding us to the love of Jesus? He is calling us to surrender our brokenness and come to him: the source of consolation, of healing, of peace, and hope in our life.
Conversing with Christ: Dear Jesus, I humbly seek your help to let go of my past hurts and wounds in my life. I realized that I am still covered by my own cloak of darkness and that I need your light. I will take courage and follow you because I believe that only you can heal me and make all things new.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will surrender my worries to you in the Eucharist, either at Mass or by making a visit to the tabernacle, if it is possible.
For Further Reflection: Learn more about radical discipleship on this Retreat Guide “Called and Chosen.”
Beverly Dalton is a writer and lives in the city of Manila. She also works for a Catholic psychology center, helping out with research studies and programs for the poor. When she is not busy, she spends time with her mom and sister, and occasionally finds leisure and relaxation in soapmaking as seen in @twosistershome.ph.