30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 29, 2006
Reflections on the Readings by Dennis Hankins
Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-9
Theme: Jesus is Calling You
Throw aside every hindrance and come to Jesus!
So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He who is a priest forever responds to the cry for pity. Other voices sought to silence Bartimaeus; but this blind man could not be silenced. His was a cry for help; a cry for mercy. Not only would blind Bartimaeus not be silenced, he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” What a difference it makes to be in Jesus’ presence.
The promise announced in Jeremiah is fulfilled in today’s Gospel. The weeping prophet wipes his tears long enough to announce the inclusion of the blind, the lame, the mothers and those with child. And Jesus and his entourage stop long enough to include blind Bartimaeus in their fellowship. Those who have known trials, tears and tribulation shall return to the Lord with rejoicing!
Those who hear the voice of Jesus understand the necessity to lay aside every weight and every besetting sin. Nothing is important enough to keep us from the saving arms of Jesus. We should not forsake our gathering together unto him each Lord’s Day. When I was a child in the Pentecostal church we would sing, “Lord, you are, more precious than silver; Lord, you are, more costly than gold; Lord, you are, more special than diamonds; And nothing I desire, compares to you.” This is the way I feel when I pray before the Lord in the Adoration Chapel. Nothing I desire, or think I need, compares with my Lord.
Today is the day of Salvation. The author of our salvation is still calling us. In the early church, the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them…(Acts 4:32-34a) A similar spirit of generosity and abandonment is necessary today. Instead of possessing our stuff, our stuff dominates us. Take courage! Set aside the stuff, set aside the time, set aside the Lord’s day and come to the Table of Plenty.
Jesus asked blind Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” It is in sanctified time when intimacy with our Lord is possible. And in such times some of our questions get answers, some of our weariness encounters rest, and more of our inner being resembles the Garden of Eden. It is in the Garden where God communed with man as friend with friend. It is in the deep recesses of our heart we meet with God and find all we need. How much we need this divinization deep within us. How near we are to the peace that surpasses all understanding. And what peace we often forfeit because we do not sanctify time or ourselves. Whether you pray the Rosary, or the Jesus Prayer, or sit in silence before the Lord, all are ways to hear our Lord say, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.
Let us pray: Dear Jesus, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. You are the Pearl of Great Price, the Treasure hid in a field. Grant me the courage to seek you above all things and honor you above all others. Amen.