Holy Spirit, please increase our wisdom and understanding!
We are just five weeks from the end of our church year and the season of Advent. The latter is our preparation for Christmas. Yet each day Jesus is born for us at daily Mass; it is Christ’s Mass. He is our "daily bread" and our best meal. No money can buy this bread from heaven. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open our eyes and minds to see Jesus more clearly in that mystery. "Give us this day our daily bread," we pray often in the Our Father, which Jesus taught us.
Since it is the end of the church year, we are nearing the end of St. Mark’s gospel. Next Sunday will be All Saints. In the three years of Jesus’ public ministry, He spent 20% of his time healing people. This famous story about the blind Bartimaeus is at the end of all three gospels. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem to be welcomed as the "new" king of Israel, the son of David, the Messiah. Then the Jewish leadership will have him put to death for our salvation.
Bartimaeus had obviously heard a lot about Jesus. When the crowd told him that Jesus was passing by, Bartimaeus kept crying out, "Son of David, have pity on me." He was not going to let this opportunity pass him by. Jesus stopped and asked His disciples to bring this man over. What do you want Me to do for you, Jesus asked. "Master, I want to see." "Go your way; your faith has saved you," Jesus said.
Where are you and I in this story? Are we with Jesus? Are we trying to silence the cries of the blind, crippled and confused of this world from going to Jesus? Are we caught up in all the worldly mess that keeps us from knowing and following Jesus? Do we want Jesus to do anything for us?
Jesus, I want to run to you. Perhaps Lord, I am blinder to the true reality of life than was Bartimaeus. Please heal all the levels of my own blindness. I really want the joy of truly knowing you. I want to know all the things that you want me to know about You. I want to live that deeper life in you. Jesus, You said that You had come that we might have life and have it to the full, John 10:10.
Father God, I pray for everyone reading these words, that You would give them the sovereign grace to know You more clearly each day, so they can experience the joy of knowing Your plan for their lives and live it to the full. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Friends in Christ, let us not delay in joining the crowd around Jesus in our parish communities. Amen?
I am now working as the priest in a public hospital with a good pastoral staff. I am tired at the end of a day but enjoy bringing the healing light of Jesus to His poor and needy. When I come to pray with them, in my "collar," most close their eyes to enjoy the loving grace of Jesus flowing into them. They don’t jump up and go home but feel the loving warmth of Jesus.
Have a good week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)