Proper 25 – Year B

Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22); (or Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126); Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52

“A blind person who sees is better than a seeing person who is blind.” – Iranian Proverb

                Last Sunday James and John told Jesus that they wanted him to give them whatever they asked.  Their request was not granted.  They were blind.  Today the direction is reversed.  Jesus asks Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) His request to see again was granted.  He was never blind where it counts.  Blindness is often spoken of in the bible.  Also symbolic blindness is a common topic.  No one is as blind as they that refuse to see, to understand.  Humans are ignorant more than malicious, blind more than evil.  That is why Jesus was so patient with James and John last week.  He held out hope for them.  We can hold out hope for the world.  Jesus tells Bartimaeus that his faith has saved him.  Jesus does not say “I heal you.”  Rather his faith heals him.  How is our faith, not for healing a physical ailment, but for healing our stubborn blindness?  Where are we blind?  Are we unable to see goodness in the midst of our daily turmoil?  Can we see where God is leading in the midst of our confusion?  Who are the blind beggars in our lives that we can learn from?  In today’s Gospel, at first the crowd tries to make Bartimaeus be silent.  Yet he is the one Jesus calls forth, the one who has something to say.  Who in our lives do we try to silence?  Bartimaeus was marginalized.  Who do we set at the margins, out of sight?  Even if our inner eyes are blind, we can at least listen to the voices around us.  Hearing may help us to see again.  Those we judge to be ignorant may just be the wise ones, the seeing ones.

Greek

                Mark 10:51 says Bartimaeus “received his sight.”  However, the Greek literally says “he looked up.”  This Greek word indicates that he was no longer suppressed.  He can now “look up” to his potential.

Haiku

Once blind to God’s work,

up anew looking to see

the coming brightness.

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