Jesus asks: “What do you want me to do for you?”

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 28, 2012
Jer 31:7-9; Ps 126; Heb 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight. And the first thing he saw was Jesus: the eyes of Jesus, shining with power and love and healing; the eyes of the one who had given him his sight. And he followed Jesus on the way.

Jesus is famous for asking questions. Some years ago, the Jesuit Father John Dear began to write down every question Jesus ever asked in the Gospels—and he got to 307 questions, not even counting the questions that are contained in Jesus’ parables (see his book The Questions of Jesus). And one of Jesus’ most provocative questions is the one that he asks Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel reading: “What do you want me to do for you?” (more…)

Bartimaeus’ faith and Jesus’ question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: October 25, 2009
Jer 31:7-9; Ps 126:1-6; Heb 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” This statement by Jesus to the blind beggar Bartimaeus is powerful; and it is a statement that we, in our culture, are in great danger of seriously misunderstanding. “Your faith has saved you.” What do we think of when we hear Jesus say those words? Do we hear George Michael singing 20 years ago, “Faithuh faithuh faithuh!”? Or, much worse, do we hear the 1940 movie Pinocchio, where for the first time Jiminy Cricket sang, “When you wish upon a star / Makes no difference who you are / Anything your heart desires / Will come to you“? Those words from the little cricket capture the error of our culture, which is likely to seriously mislead us about Jesus and what he is telling us, if we are not careful. So let us take a closer look at just what Bartimaeus’ faith was, which Jesus commended. (more…)

Published in: on October 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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