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30th Sunday Of O.T. – Cycle B

October 25th, 2015

 

“Master, I Want To See!”

  

Reading 1


Jer 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back
from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child;
they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears,
but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
Ephraim is my first-born.


Responsorial Psalm


Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3)  The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
 Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.


Reading II


Heb 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place:
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.


Gospel


Mk 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
"Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
"Son of David, have pity on me."
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
"Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

 

Homily/Sermon

 

It strikes me, that of all the things that might describe a blind person, the most obvious would be faith, the very thing for which Jesus praises Bartimaeus in today’s gospel reading for.  Because of our marvelous human ability to adapt, blind people can function quite well in our society.  But it seems to me that there must come a point where even the most self assured blind person must trust, must believe, must rely on the promises of others and the nature of reality.

 

I do not easily come by that kind of faith because I can see.  Sometimes, it seems that even in scripture, there is no great help in acquiring that faith.  Many bible stories concern unusual happenings: curing the blind, driving out demons, raising people from the dead, burning bushes, not your everyday experience.  So what does faith have to do with us ordinary people in our usual situations? 

 

Faith is saying yes to God.  And that yes must be said here and now where the questions are asked, where the needs cry out, where God makes himself felt.  Faith is the power that enables us to live with the tension, the pain, the uncertainties of our future as a country, the demise we are in now with what seems like a very immoral government (one that seems to be denying God completely), with choices we make in life, the morals and values we are instilled with, and even with the death of loved ones.  People of faith do not ignore the conditions of life.  They see the strange events of existence and the raw material of a meaningful life.  Faith is believing in something or someone we cannot see, but yet underwriting it with our lives, such as Bartimaeus did.

 

Faith is many things my friends, none of them easy for you and me.  It is seeing God in our world as surely Abraham saw God in his world.  But what makes us think it was so easy for Abraham?  I’ve never seen God in a burning bush as Moses did.  Yet, because God does exist, He is as visible to us as He was on Mt. Sinai.  Here and now, indeed, there are bushes bursting with God, if we have eyes to see.  God is where he walks, where his voice can be heard, where the features of his face can be traced.  God is here and now – or not at all.  So, perhaps, if we cannot see God with your eyes, we must see him through the eyes of faith, we must blindly believe that He is totally present to us, in his Fatherhood, in his sonship, and his Sprit. 

 

It seems as if we have loved the past too long and too much.  We have built on solid rock and forgotten that even granite erodes over time.  We have saved the faith and neglected to spend it.  We have deposited it in creeds and hoped our children would live off the interest, thus denying the fact that each generation must build its own faith from the ground up.  Where is our faith?  We have built beautiful churches, and we say, “There is your faith.”  We have piled brick on top of brick, and we say, “This is the sign of faith.”  We have been busy building nice things, instead of allowing ourseves to internatlize and claim Jesus as the ONLY hope that there will ever be.

 

Faith is saying yes to what is now, not what used to be.  Unfortunately, that is now is getting more alien to our faith.  In these days and times and the new church order, there will be days that bring no joy or comfort.  On those days, there will be nothing to do but to cling with blind conviction, like Bartimaeus, to the vision of faith in the Lord.  On those days, we will have to pray in darkness to a God who may not make his presence felt as we deem his presence to be for us, yet God is always present.  This will be a naked, realistic faith, divested of traditional trappings.  It will have to recognize Christ the King in the disguise of Jesus the servant.  It will kneel at his feet and say, “Rabboni, I want to see.”  God grant us that kind of faith.

 

 

 © Deacon Steve A. Politte

October 24, 2015

 

Video Below

 

~ Forever Yours My Lord! ~



Forever Yours my Lord -
what can I say?
You are the sunrise and the sunset -
of each and every day.

You’re my hope -
when life drags me down,
putting a smile on my face -
when there is a frown.

You’re my strength -
that keeps my faith alive,
the keeper of my soul -
as You wipe away the tears in my eyes.

You’re my food -
that feeds my very soul,
the warmth of Your love -
keeps away the cold.

You’re the Light -
when I am too blind to see,
opening up my heart -
embracing the weaknesses in me.

You’re the Joy -
on this journey that I travel,
sending angels from Heaven -
for my problems to unravel.

You’re the Gentleness -
of a summer’s breeze,
the Father of creation -
yearning for all to believe.

You’re the Love -
that this person who I am,
who always forgives my sinfulness -
and my life is in Your command.

Forever Yours my Lord -
do with me what you will,
as I try to live like Jesus -
who died on Calvary’s hill.

Forever Yours my Lord . . . !


© Steve A. Politte
9/1/2006

 

 

 

"It Is Well With My Soul"

 by Ronnie Cottingham


 

"It Is Well With My Soul" from Janice Stefher on Vimeo.

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