We conclude our message series this week that we’ve been calling, Holy Triage. In this series, we have been scanning through the aspects of our spiritual lives that needs healing. Today we are asking God to open the eyes of our minds and make us see again thereby overcoming our spiritual blindness.
Physical blindness is a tragedy because it keeps us from seeing what is around us, but an even greater tragedy is spiritual blindness. This type of blindness keeps us from seeing and understanding the Truth in the Bible. Spiritual blindness is a symbol of a weakened and impaired spiritual vision. In this kind of blindness, we don’t see the splendor of God, nor do we see as God wants us to see. To be spiritually blind is not to see Christ, and not to see Christ is not to see God (Colossians 1:15-16). Physical blindness in the gospels has a great significance, representing the human need for God’s light, the light of faith. We need to ask God to help us overcome this kind of blindness.
In today’s Gospel, the blind Bartimaeus represents our collective human situation that is constantly yearning for healing and liberation from all sorts of limitations. The blindness might not necessarily be the physical loss of vision, but spiritual ignorance that limits our relationship with others and with God.
Hence, todays Gospel teaches us that to be free from these limitations, we must humbly accept them. Secondly, by constantly reminding ourselves that, “Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 95:8), we must humbly ask for help from Jesus Christ. So like the blind man in our gospel, we must cry out to the Lord in faith for healing: “Lord that I might see.” However, it is important to know that Bartimaeus did not believe because he was cured. Rather, he was cured because he had faith in Christ who said, “Your faith has cured you.” Faith is very important in our daily walk and encounter with Jesus Christ. To see is to have a living faith in Christ.
When Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, the crowd around him tries to silence him. Yet Bartimaeus persists in calling out more loudly and with greater urgency. He will not be deterred from getting the attention of Jesus. We noticed how quickly the crowd reaction changes when Jesus calls for Bartimaeus. Those who sought to quiet him now encourage him. And once his sight was restored, Bartimaeus followed Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. Both his physical and spiritual sight were restored.
Jesus Christ wants to heal our spiritual blindness so that we can see through our lives and grow in holiness and compassion for others. What will you say when He asks you what He inquired of Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” You might answer and say: “Lord enlighten me that I may see everything through your eyes; help me follow you and keep me close to you. Should I stray, bring me back to you. Help me serve you by giving of myself for others so that one day you will welcome me into your kingdom.”
--Father Celestine Tyowua, Parochial Vicar
Father Roger Gustafson