Every spiritual endeavour ought to have its basis in an experience of the Divine.
This experience becomes the launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine.
The contrast is also true…
A lack of experience of the Divine makes the spiritual journey a lethargic one…
…sometimes makes it even non-existent!
The greater the experience that one has of the Divine, the higher will be one’s enthusiasm and interest in spiritual matters.
The Gospel of the Day presents the experience of the Divine by a blind person and his consequent expression of happiness and delight in the Lord.
Blind Bartimaeus experiences the Divine healing power and gives vent to his deep joy in the Lord by ‘following Him on the way’.
Jesus was passing through the land of Jericho.
>> As he was leaving Jericho, with His disciples, the news reached the ears of Bartimaeus.
He was blind.
>> We do not know how long was he so.
>> We do not know what was the reason for being so.
But we know one thing.. that he would have heard about the wonders and fame of Jesus.
And the very mention that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing that way, made him to spring into pleading for mercy.
>> Just as the steps of the lover sounds sweet to the Beloved…
>> Just as the strains of music sound sweet to the singer…
So, the mention of the name, “Jesus” sounded healing and wholeness for Blind Bartimaeus!
With his might and strength, he cried, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy” (Mk 10:47)
>> The crowd tried to dissuade him.
>> The people surrounding made efforts to silence him.
But nothing of this could prevent this determined person to cry out to his God!
This persevering and passionate pleading of Bartimaeus was amply rewarded.
Jesus called him, and said to him, ” Go your way, your faith has saved you!” (Mk 10: 52a)
This tremendous healing experience, fanned to flame the sparks of Divine Love within blind Bartimaeus!
>> He immediately received his sight and followed Jesus on the way (Mk 10: 52b)
This experience became a launching-pad to nurture a life-long relationship with the Divine!
We too are in need of an deeper experience of the Lord, in order to nurture and strengthen our spiritual life.
We sometimes remain blind to things of the spiritual dimension.
>> We sometimes rejected in our lack of progress in a holy living.
Yet, we are invited to cry out with full intensity, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Surely, this act of faith from our part, would meet with a lot of oppositions…
… we may hear voices telling us that it is useless to cry to God and rely on His power
… we may be told that it is illogical and unreasonable to be banking on Divine assistance
But like Blind Bartimaeus, are we willing to transgress and traverse all such negative voices, and drown them with a wave of mightier faith, crying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me?”
Unless we undergo such a healing experience, our faith will remain shallow and our spiritual following will remain dispirited.
>> This healing is not just of the physical nature; rather it could be healing of the mind, healing of the spirit or a social healing or an emotional healing.
>> The fact of being healed, would make me more passionate about the Divine Healer!
>> The fact of being cleansed, would make me more zealous about the Divine Sanctifier!
May our hearts be opened, in perseverance and passion, to seek the wonderful experience of the Divine.
God Bless! Live Jesus!
– Fr Jijo Manjackal msfs