October 28, 2012 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s scripture readings offer us a beautiful lesson in faith. All it took was knowing that Jesus was right there, and Bartimaeus insisted on calling out to Him. He knew that Jesus could heal him. He knew that Christ was the answer to his problems, and he believed that Jesus would help him. So, in faith, he called out. And when those around him tried to hush him, Bartimaeus continued to cry out, to seek the Lord.
That faith-filled cry paid dividends for Bartimaeus. Jesus called him to Himself, and when Batimaeus responded to Christ’s call, he was healed of his blindness. “Your faith has saved you,” Jesus tells him, and Bartimaeus “followed Him (Jesus) on the way.”
The life of Christian discipleship begins with faith. God calls us to Himself, but we have to make the decision to step out in faith, to take courage and to run to Christ, just as Bartimaeus did.
Jesus is here for us. He is right here walking among us, but sometimes we don’t recognize His presence. We are blinded like Bartimaeus, living life in our own bubble oblivious to Christ’s work among us, oblivious to our need for Him. Yet, He is still here, still calling us to Himself, and, just like He did for Bartimaeus, using others to communicate His presence and His call. We must simply step forward in faith, recognize our need for Him, and accept His call on our lives.
Simple though it may sound, often it is not easy to do. We live in a society where a life of faith, especially a faith that speaks loudly – an active lived faith in Christ – is mocked or hushed. Yet, today’s readings encourage us not to let that impede us from calling out to Christ and following Him.
Rather, we need to “take courage; get up, Jesus is calling” (gospel).
Then, illumined by faith, our lives will never be the same. When we follow Christ “on the way” life is much easier, much more fulfilling to live. That’s not to say that we won’t experience hardships, in fact, sometimes the hardships we experience may even seem, in the world’s eyes, to be unbearable, but living by the light of faith, we can unite our trials and sufferings with Christ, recognizing that He can completely relate. “He himself is beset by weakness” (second reading). He knows every pain we experience, every trial we face in a real an intimate way – He experienced the horror of our pain in His suffering.
What’s more, we know that He is our redeemer, as the first reading reminds us. When we give ourselves to Him and follow Him on “the way,” He takes care of all of our needs. “I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water so that none shall stumble” (first reading).
Indeed, as Bartimaeus learned when He took courage and ran to Christ, the life of a Christian disciple is greatly rewarding. Christ loves us more than we can begin to fathom, and He cares for all of our needs. But we must step forward in faith. We must own our faith in Him and act upon it with great courage – even when it’s not easy to do. Then, we can live in the light, sure of what we were created to do, namely, to follow Christ, glorifying Him as we live out that calling.