There’s a saying which has been around for some time that we often see the trees but miss out on the forest. Similarly, sometimes we can admire a beautiful ceramic vase, and totally miss the beautiful flowers that it holds. Or, we can admire the craftsmanship of a deep well made by hand, and miss the water it holds. So it is with Gospel stories. They contain so much goodness that sometimes we need to shift our focus to draw from the abundant wisdom they contain.
At a surface level, today’s story is simple. In Jesus’ day, Jericho was an oasis and trade centre in the middle of the desert. It was about twelve miles to Jerusalem, a trip that took all day for a healthy walker (the normal means of travel). So the beggars would line the exit points of the city, hoping to get some alms from those heading toward the holy city. Blind Bartimaeus is one of those beggars. Because of his physical handicap, he depends on his ears and his voice to survive. So he cries out to Jesus, and what do his ears tell him? He hears Jesus ask him the most important question that he ever had to answer: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus believes what he has heard about Jesus’ ability to restore people to wholeness; so his response is from his heart: “Master, I want to see!”
Jesus is asking you and me that same question! What do we really want from Jesus? Can we “see” that God has a divine plan for us, and that we must humbly listen and respond trustingly to the Church Magisterium in all matters of faith and morals? Can we “see” that our faith has to be lived according to that sound teaching, in order to become whole and become who God created us to be? If we can say “Yes” to those questions, then we have received our sight and can follow him on the way. We need to remember who we are, and cry out daily, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”.