YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE 30TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Jer. 31:7-9
Second reading – Hebr. 5:1-6
Gospel – Mk. 10:46-52
PUSH! PUSH!! PUSH!!! Hope you are not thinking that our bus has broken down on the road and needed to be pushed. Or, are you thinking that a woman is struggling in the labor room? It’s none of the above. Yes, what we are simply saying is that no matter what the obstacle is, no matter how thick the darkness seems to be, do not give up; continue to Pray-Until-Something-Happens.
We got the story of the man Bartimaeus who had so many challenges, yet, did not give up but kept hitting hard “until something happened” – his sight was restored. The challenges of Bartimaeus were much. He was stone blind.
Added to his blindness, he was a poor beggar. Nature really took its toll on him. To be blind and poor is the combination of the sterner of two misfortunes. As if that were not enough, when he seemed to have got a slight hope of salvation, men and women of this world began blocking him off and ordering him to keep quiet. Surely, to have shut up would have left him in his agony. He knew this and so he shouted the more. He kept “pushing”.
Many of us have got to find ourselves in situations as challenging as that of Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus was physically blind. As such, he was unable to see the beauty of creation. All that people admired to see and talk about, the glory of the temple in Jerusalem, the beautiful works of nature; he never saw any of them. Worst still, even the very Jesus he had heard so much about, he had never set his eyes on. Blindness could be in different forms. There are many who never had a taste of beautiful things in their lives. They never had a course to laugh. There is no joy in darkness. There at home, it is all dark for them. In the shop, while others are telling their success stories, they have nothing to share because they never saw anything. What a great agony!
Another evil which I see in the world is the insensitivity of people to the plights of their fellow men and women. The terrible feelings of Bartimaeus seemed to be understood by him alone. Others who never cared to be in his shoes shouted at him to keep his mouth shut. See how painful it is when you find yourself in a difficulty that no one cared to know what you feel. To make matters worse, people tend to thwart the light coming your way. The interesting thing here is that Bartimaeus shut his ears against all these challenges; the challenges of the crowd and their noise, the challenges of Jesus already about to leave the vicinity. He shouted louder. He pushed. I mean he kept praying to Jesus the Son of David to take pity on him.
Have you got tired of praying that you may see again? To see again refers to someone who may not have been blind before. Yes, you may have had glorious moments in the past and now darkness seems to be in all your ways. Please don’t give up the shouting. Are you already giving up? I know it may have been a long time you started praying to see the light again. But It is interesting to know too that Bartimaeus may have longed for such a long period of time without losing heart, for this Jesus to pass his way, and today it happened. Like a flash, he started seeing again. My prophetic words are that yours too shall be like a dream and that dry bone would rise again. Have you received such discouragement from people, even from your close friends, to stop this shouting; I mean to stop serving God, to stop praying or stop doing what is right? My friend Job too got such discouragement even from his own wife. He stood his ground.
Do not stop! Pray Until Something Happens.