Read Mark 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... Read More…
Meet Sister Jo Ann Recker
Sister Jo Ann Recker, SNDdeN is a professor emerita of French in the Department of Modern Languages at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Read More…
“ 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.’” (Mark: 10:51)
What a wonderful gift is sight! And how, as people age and begin to lose the sharpness of vision they once enjoyed, this gift is even more appreciated. Yet, as the fox in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s deceptively simple book, The Little Prince, was to learn, “It is only with the heart, that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Recently, I was struck by an equally simple but profound story. A young boy asked his mother to pack him a picnic lunch so that he could take it to the nearby park to eat. Having arrived at the park, the boy saw a bench and, seated at the end of the bench was an elderly woman with her head bowed, chin resting on her chest. She appeared very tired and quite sad. Choosing this bench on which to open his picnic basket, he wordlessly extended to her half of his sandwich, which she quietly accepted. And so, in wordless companionship, these two succeeded in emptying the boy’s basket. After sharing his lunch with the old woman, the boy arose and wrapped his arms around the woman in a warm hug. She looked up into his eyes and responded with a big smile. The two then returned to their respective homes.
When the woman entered her home in a visibly better frame of mind, her family asked her about her day. “I had lunch with God,” she replied. “And, you know, he was much younger than I had thought!” The boy’s mother asked her son how his picnic in the park had been. “I had lunch with God,” he answered. “She had the most beautiful smile!”
Surely, these two saw one another, not with their physical eyes, but, rather, with their hearts.
Returning to today’s Gospel from Mark, the exchange between Jesus and Bartimaeus contains some interesting and provocative details. When Bartimaeus was told that Jesus had heard his cries and was calling for him, Bartimaeus “threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” (Mark: 10: 50) Why this gesture on his part? Was it to free himself from anything that would hinder the alacrity of his response to Jesus’ invitation? What hinders us from really seeing holy mystery in everything and everyone around us? Do we need to throw aside our “cloaks” of self-sufficiency, our busyness and inability to live mindfully? Like Bartimaeus, we merely need to ask for that which God already knows we need; at this time, perhaps, an understanding heart, the clear-sightedness that permits us to perceive those Glimpses of God’s Goodness in the seemingly ordinary events and people of our lives.
Once we have taken the opportunity to do this and, spurred by the assurance in today’s reminder that our faith can save us, let us enjoy with renewed insight our own next “lunch with God!”