In the Gospel today (Mk. 10: 46-52), we can surmise that there are two types of people based on their reaction to others asking or shouting for help: the first type are those who have accepted that his “predestined place is to remain at the side of the road.” They are those who ridicule or heckle or even become angry that one of their members would want anything else for himself, as shown by the rebuke the beggar got when he cried out, telling him to be silent.
The second type are the opposite, they sort of comforted the blind man, as if knowing how difficult it must be at the side of the road for a long time to beg for alms and food. They empathize with the beggar knowing how he must have endured the ridicule and the shouts in the sidelines.
In our life journey, we can choose to be the heckler or the comforter. We can unknowingly stop others from reaching out to God by our own bad example. Or we can be God’s messenger and lead others to God by our own loving and caring ways.
This Gospel also exemplifies the extraordinary depth of the Lord’s compassion and mercy. The Lord hears the cry of desperation shown by the beggar, knowing that it might be his only chance at being healed by Christ. But with it, Jesus recognized the beggar’s deep faith, as shown by his calling Jesus the royal title “Son of David”, a revelation that the blind beggar knows that this Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus responded in a way that shows us how He loves those who are in need:
Jesus said “call him.”
Jesus said “What do you want me to do?”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
This powerful “formula” of faith as a way to getting healed can be read throughout Scriptures and as shown all over St. Mark’s Gospel. For example, it is because of her faith that the woman with the hemorrhage is healed. When there is no faith, Jesus can’t heal; we see this after his rejection in Nazareth. In each of these stages we can see the compassionate love of Jesus and which we also know from our own faith experience as well. It is this aspect of God’s love that works miracles.
The First Reading (Jer. 31: 7-9) tells us that Yahweh promised to bring people who are lost, “including the blind and the lame”, the “mothers and those with child”. He promised to “console them and guide them”. He claims His children as a “father to Israel”.
Finally, we are reminded that it is our duty to bring others to God and become the messengers of the Gospel to others. These “other people” are our children, families and those entrusted to our care and guidance. There are challenges in carrying out these directions but like the blind beggar, we have to stand ridicule and to persevere in His love.
Let us pray that when there are people asking for help, we stop what we are doing to hear what they want to say.
When we’ve been on the road for long without help coming our way, may we hear God’s angels tell us “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
Let us pray that we remember the day when through God’s grace, our “sight” was restored.
May we not go astray, may we continue to be faithful till the end.
‘The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.’ (cf. Ps. 126: 3)