Homily 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
JESUS CHRIST, THE FACE OF GOD THE FATHER’S LOVE AND MERCY
The Blind Man of Jericho
“Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.”
Today’s 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B liturgy reminds us of God’s Fatherly love for mankind that He himself will free His people (Cf. 1st reading Jer. 31: 7-9). A divine love which is immense and boundless, willing to sacrifice his Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the FACE OF HIS LOVE AND MERCY. He is the High Priest with a merciful and compassionate heart whose primary concern is not only to save humanity but to free it as well from their illnesses, whether physical or spiritual, as shown by the curing of the blind man of Jericho (Cf. 2nd reading and Gospel).
- In the 1st reading (Jer. 31: 7-9), God the Father shows His heart’s “weakness” for his children of Israel (the new People of God) such that He himself will lead them to their final destiny, saying: “Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng. They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. FOR I AM A FATHER TO ISRAEL, EPHRAIM IS MY FIRST-BORN.”
- In the 2nd reading (Heb 5:1-6), God the Father chose His Only-Begotten Son as His own Representative to carry out His Will to guide and lead mankind to eternal bliss. He chose Jesus “to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son: this day I have begotten you; just as he says in another place: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
- In the Gospel, (Mk10:46-52) OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, SHOWS US THE IMMENSE LOVE, MERCY AND COMPASSION OF GOD THE FATHER to His people, especially to the poor and sick, curing the blind man of Jericho who demonstrated his immense faith and insistent prayer upon knowing that Christ was passing by, he cried out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”. Many rebuked the blind man, telling him to be silent, but the more he insisted, calling upon Our Lord: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” so that he could be heard by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
“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.”
POINTS TO CONSIDER IN OUR PERSONAL PRAYER:
- GRATITUDE: “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy”, as we repeat in the Responsorial Psalm. let us thank the Most Blessed Trinity for for His Immense Love and Mercy for each one of us through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We could never thank Him enough but we should at least have this constant and daily attitude of gratitude for what He is constantly giving us for all that we are and all that we have, we have received from God.
- PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER: The blind man’s faith and perseverance in prayer is in an example for us to imitate. We should never tire out on calling to Our Lord. In spite of the odds and reproaches we receive from persons, difficult situations, or the hostile culture or environment, all of which conspire to make us shut up or prevent us from living our Christian faith, we should always turn to Jesus, incessantly crying out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner!” asking him to heal our blindness, above all, the spiritual blindness caused by our disordered passions, worsened by an ever-increasing hedonistic environment. St. John Chrysostom comments:
“Our Lord, who had heard him right from the beginning, let him persevere in his prayer. He does the same with you. Jesus hears our cries from the very first, but he waits. He wants us to be convinced that we need him. He wants us to beseech him, to persist, like the blind man waiting by the road from Jericho. ‘Let us imitate him. Even if God does not immediately give us what we ask, even if many people try to put us off our prayers, let us still go on praying.’”
(St John Chrysostom, Hom. on St Matthew, 66).
- DETACHMENT AND PROMPTNESS TO APPROACH CHRIST: The blind Bartimaeus also gives us a wonderful example of DETACHMENT and PROMPTNESS in ANSWERING GOD’S CALL. When the others told him “Take heart; rise, he is calling you.”, what was his reaction to Our Lord’s calling? “He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus!”
- He threw aside what perhaps was his most valuable possession and raced towards Jesus! May we also have the same generous, detached and prompt attitude once we hear that God’s calling, for our divine vocation is what gives meaning to our existence! Never should we let God wait, once we have seen the light and grace of our vocation, holding to our personal ambitions or possessions.
- We should not forget that Our Lord Jesus Christ cannot be reached without this self-renouncement, sacrifice and detachment, which we have to practice many times in the small things of our daily life…and promptly!…racing towards Christ to do what He asks from us.
- FOLLOWING JESUS, OUR CHRISTIAN VOCATION: With Bartimaeus’ promptness, a marvelous dialogue with Jesus occurs. Jesus asks him what he wants and Bartimaeus replied: “‘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.”
- Jesus finally granted Bartimaeus’ request, after demonstrating his faith and perseverance in prayer and the best part of this is what happened immediately after receiving his sight: Bartimaeus followed Our Lord on the way!
- As Christians, we too should embark on following Jesus faithfully on his way. Christian life is not an easy one. But we must be assured that Christ led the way for us, or better yet, He is the Way Himself!
Dear friends, LET US ASK THANK THE MOST BLESSED TRINITY FOR HIS IMMENSE LOVE AND MERCY IN JESUS CHRIST. Let us ask God through Our Lady so that like Bartimaeus, we will never tire out of calling upon Him: “Jesus, have pity on me, a sinner!”, living the virtues of FAITH, PERSEVERING PRAYER, DETACHMENT, GENEROSITY AND PROMPTNESS IN ANSWERING GOD’S CALL, which is our vocation TO FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, disposed to give up or reject any thing which may constitute as an obstacle in our way to live Christ’s life.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS.
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