Thursday, October 25, 2012

With new eyes

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
October 22, 2012

Mark 10: 46-52

The healing of the blind man Bartimaeus is told by Mark to urge the Christian communities to get out of their blindness and mediocrity. Only thus will they follow Jesus on the gospel road. The story is surprisingly current for the Church of our time.

Bartimaeus is "a blind man sitting by the side of the road." It's always night in his life. He has heard talk of Jesus, but doesn't know his face. He can't follow him. He's beside the road along which he's walking, but he's on the outside. Isn't this our situation? Blind Christians, seated beside the road, unable to follow Jesus?

It's night among us. We don't know Jesus. We lack light to follow his path. We don't know where the Church is going. We don't even know what future we want for it. Settled in a religion that hasn't been able to convert us into followers of Jesus, we live near the Gospel, but outside it. What can we do?

Despite his blindness, Bartimaeus grasps that Jesus is passing by him. He doesn't hesitate for a moment. Something tells him that Jesus is his salvation: "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me." This cry repeated with faith will unleash his healing.

Today in the Church we hear complaints and lamentations, criticisms, protests and mutual insults. We don't hear the humble, trusting prayer of the blind man. We have forgotten that only Jesus can save this Church. We don't sense his presence nearby. We only believe in ourselves. Not going on being settled in conventional religion. Turning back to Jesus who is calling us. This is the first pastoral objective.

The blind man reacts in an admirable way. He throws off the cloak that keeps him from getting up, makes a leap in his darkness, and approaches Jesus. From his heart springs only one plea: "Master, I want to see." If his eyes are opened, everything will change. The story concludes by saying that the blind man regained his sight and "followed him on the way."

This is the healing that we Christians need today. The qualitative leap that can change the Church. If we change our way of looking at Jesus, if we read his Gospel with new eyes, if we get the originality of his message and become passionate about his plan for a more humane world, Jesus' strength will carry us forward. Our communities will know the joy of living by following him closely.

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