They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
There is an irony in the fact that the blind man is the one who sees. And I don’t mean after Jesus heals Bartimaeus. Rather, in the midst of his physical blindness, Bartimaeus is the one who “sees” Jesus thru the eyes of faith. The blind beggar sees Jesus not as someone to beg money from, but as someone to ask for so much more: to regain his sight. Yet what about us who have physical sight? Perhaps we are in need of Bartimaeus’s blindness. No, I don’t mean that today you should pray for the grace to go blind. Rather, today might be a day to pray for the eyes of faith that the blind Bartimaeus so readily had. A blindness to the distractions and the obstacles in his midst that could not keep him from Jesus, God-Incarnate, who was passing by.
Lord Jesus, help us to look beyond the many distractions and obstacles that exist in our daily lives that prevent us from seeing you. Grant us the eyes of Bartimaeus to recognizes you in the people we encounter. May we too have the courage to ask you for what our heart truly desires. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team