THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
The gospel of this 30th Sunday in Ordinary times, tells of the story of a blind man, called Bartimaeus, who, although was physically blind, could see perfectly, on the inside. He could see what the crowd, who had eyes, could not see; that the Jesus of Nazareth (a reference to the humanity of Jesus, the son of Joseph) was truly Jesus, the son of David (an appeal to His divinity and divine origin; the Messiah). It was this depth of insight that empowered him to act. My friends, we walk, not by sight, but by faith, says the Word of God.
Bartimaeus’ conviction that Jesus is the son of David made him determined not to let anything come between him and this faith. So when the crowd attempted to put him down and shut him up, he would have none of it. He was not going to allow the crowd to intimidate and bully him out of his conviction. This was about his faith in Christ Jesus and nothing was going to stop his expression of it. My friends do not let people talk or intimidate you out of your faith and beliefs. Many of our young people have fallen into this trap, and it is so sad. Faith is also about insight and not just sight alone. Scripture says, “Whatever is revealed is revealed unto us and our children”
You see, resilience is the key to success. If Bartimaeus had shouted once without success and decided to save his breath, leave Jesus alone, and allowed the crowd to coward him out of his conviction, he would have lost out. The crowd presented enough inhibition to discourage him but he was neither demoralized, nor disappointed, nor distressed; rather, he remained persistent and unyielding, and his courage paid off. Christ will not turn down a man who raised his voice, craved for his attention, and refused to leave. That is why Scripture encourages us to be persistent in our prayers. Half measures do not produce good results. We must be consistent, persistent, and unyielding in the pursuit of our goals.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly people rally around success? When Jesus stopped and said; “Call him”, the same people who were blocking Bartimaeus from getting through to Jesus turned around and urged him; “Cheer up! Get on your feet! He’s calling you”. My friends, the best way to repay your detractors and dream-undertakers is to become a success. It doesn’t matter what the people around you are saying, thinking, or feeling, go for your goals with all your might, as long as they are morally right. Look at the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), it was their determination and courage that paid off at last. Remember, there is a spirit in you that is greater than your opposition.
Once Bartimaeus turned to Jesus, he broke away from his past by throwing away the garment he was wearing as a blind man, ran to Jesus, got healed, and became a follower. When we say yes to Jesus, we should never look back again. Scripture says: “Now that you have become a new creation, put away the old self and put on the new self, born in the image of Christ Jesus”. Commitment to our goals and aspirations must be total. Lukewarmness is a recipe for disaster. God, Scripture says, spits out those who are lukewarm.
In all, let us remember that insight is more powerful than sight and that, while people may try to cut off our path to Jesus and our path to success, they can never cut off our hope in God, our hunger for God, and our desire to succeed. Deep and committed faith is what it takes to makes all the difference in life. May God grant us such faith in Jesus Name, Amen!