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Gospel for Sunday, October 24: Mark 10: 46-52

XXX Sunday B

46And they came to Jericho. While he was leaving Jericho together with his disciples and a large crowd, Timaeus’ son, Bartimaeus, who was blind, sat along the road begging. 47Hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say: “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!”. 48Many rebuked him to keep quiet, but he shouted even louder: “Son of David, have mercy on me!”. 49Jesus stopped and said: “Call him!” They called the blind man, saying to him: “Courage! Get up, he is calling you!”. 50He threw off his cloak, jumped up and came to Jesus. 51Then Jesus said to him: “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man answered him: “Rabboni, may I see again!”. 52And Jesus said to him: “Go, your faith has saved you.” And immediately he saw again and followed him along the road.

Mark 10: 46-52

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Misericordie, I am Carlo Miglietta, doctor, biblical scholar, layman, husband, father and grandfather (www.buonabibbiaatutti.it).

Also today I share with you a short meditation thought on the Gospel, with special reference to the theme of mercy.

The miracle of the healing of the blind man of Jericho is full of symbolic values. First of all, the episode takes place in the city where the journey of liberation from the slavery of Egypt to the promised land ended, an impregnable fortress that only a miracle of God (Jos 6) managed to make fall into the hands of the Israelites. And blindness, which makes man live in darkness, is a real and allegorical infirmity.

Jesus light of the world

In the Bible, God is light (Ps 4.7; Is 42.16; 50.10). The great promise of the prophets was the arrival of the Messiah who would illuminate the darkness (Is 60,1.19).

Jesus is announced by Simeon in the temple as “a light to enlighten the people” (Lk 2,32). John says of him: “The true light was coming into the world, which enlightens every man” (Jn 1:9). And Jesus says of himself: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12; cf. 12:46). Presenting himself in the synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus states that he has come “to proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim liberation to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed at liberty” (Lk 4:18). To the Baptist who asks him if he is the Messiah, Jesus replies: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight” (Lk 7,22). And at the end of time “There will be no more night, and they will no longer need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light” (Rev 22.5).

The path of Faith

In the healing of the blind man of Jericho, every man’s journey of faith is symbolized: without the light of God, each of us finds himself in a desperate situation, “blind, sitting by the wayside, begging” (Mk 10.46). The blind man is sitting: he does not have the ability to stand. He is not even on the road, but off the road: he is not involved in the movement that leads to Jerusalem, the holy city. He is not self-sufficient: he is begging. It is the situation of our world, nailed by his problems, unable to find meaning in life, gripped by the darkness of anguish and fear, oppressed by misery and death; and we all beg for some sort of survival from life, numbing ourselves in the fun, in the rush for money, pleasure, power, alienating ourselves in a thousand frivolities: but in the end we find ourselves alone, on the side of the road, in the darkness…

Fortunately, “Jesus is passing by” (Lk 18.37): it is God who takes the initiative, who comes to meet our misery, who comes down from his heavens to help us. God hears man’s desperate cry for help and intervenes to free him, even if he only senses his presence.

We note that the crowds try to dissuade the blind man from having recourse to him, indeed “they reprimanded him to keep quiet” (Mk 10.48): God is not there, and if he is he cannot hear you, it is useless to have recourse to him.. There are crowds who are around Jesus, but who perhaps do not follow him: only the healed blind man will follow him. They are the many Christians who want to follow the Lord in their own way, without being disturbed by the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed from all over the world who cry out their pain and anger. They are the prototype of a Church that is often… atheistic, which does not believe in the power of God, in his possibility of performing miracles.

To this crowd the blind man gives a great example of true faith. First of all, he listens to the Word: “Having heard” (Mk 10,47). The first step of Faith is listening: “Faith depends on listening («akoè»)” (Rm 10,17).

The announcement that the blind man receives is that “Jesus, the Nazarene, was there (éstin)” (v. 47). Only the historical Jesus, the poor carpenter who came from the lowest Nazareth (Jn 1.46), the one who will die crucified like a criminal, is the unique salvation of man, the definitive answer of God, the light that pierces our darkness .

But then perseverance is necessary, insistence in seeking the Lord, without allowing ourselves to be discouraged (“But he shouted louder”: Mk 10,48). And we need to seek a personal, direct, trusting relationship with God: the blind man calls Jesus by name (Mk 10.47): and “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2.21).

The blind man asks Jesus for his love for him: “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”. It is the wonderful “prayer of the heart” which in Orthodoxy will become the sweet mantra which, repeated in rhythm with the breath, will become the “prayer of the heart” of many Saints.

And Jesus “stops” (Mk 10.49) next to the man; However, she does not call him directly, but through the Church (“He said: «Call him! »”: Mk 10,49): the Church has the task of bringing an announcement of salvation which is not from him, but which was entrusted. The Church should never distance men from God, but always bring to him all the sick, the suffering, the sinners, those who are “in darkness and the shadow of death” (Lk 1,79). The Church must be hope and liberation for all men, no one excluded.

The saved following the Lord

Jesus proclaims: “Your faith has saved you” (Mk 10.52). We note that Jesus never said to anyone: “I have saved you”, but rather: “Your faith has saved you” (see Luke 7.50; 17.19; Mark 5.34; 10.52…); “Go, and let it be done according to your faith” (Mt 8,13); “Your faith is truly great! Let it be done to you as you wish” (Mt 15,28). Jesus is the true Educator”: “e-ducare” in fact means “to bring out”, “to bring out” the other. “In responding to those he met, Jesus looked for the faith present in the other, as if he wanted to reawaken and bring out his faith… In fact, he knew that faith is a personal act, which everyone must perform freely: no one can believe instead of someone else!” (E. Bianchi).

The healed blind man “followed him along the way” (Mk 10.52): the man who experiences salvation and liberation, the man who finds in Jesus the meaning of his living and also of his dying, becomes the follower, the disciple, who makes his life a praise of the Lord and his goodness. Only those who have tasted the sweetness of the Lord can become an apostle and witness to him. Many times our missionary enthusiasm is poor because we have had little experience of his salvation, we have not let ourselves be enthused by God, we do not tremble with joy for him.

We blind people are therefore called first to experience that only Jesus is the light that overcomes darkness. That we too know how to follow him “immediately” (“euthùs”: Mk 10.52), with promptness and enthusiasm like the miracle worker of Jericho, so as not to deserve the condemnation of those who “have preferred darkness to light” (Jn 3.18 -21)!

Happy Mercy to all!

Anyone who would like to read a more complete exegesis of the text, or some insights, please ask me at migliettacarlo@gmail.com.

Source

Spazio Spadoni

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