What is the first thing you do upon waking up in the morning? Some of us would say, “I drink water”, others “I fix my bed”, still some would say, “I’ll go to the comfort room”, while some pious among us would say, “I pray first”. However, our guest priest said that the first thing that is actually done, before all the others would be to “open our eyes”. Then the next things like praying, fixing the bed, etc. follows.
This question is relevant because this is connected to the last thing we do before laying our heads to sleep the night before. Before we end the day, and prior to sleeping, it is best practice to pray to God for a good night’s rest. We have to consider that because when at sleep, except for the fact that there is breathing, we are actually unconscious, even approximating death. It feels scary but that is the reality. Dreadful especially when one is not ready to face death. Even when one is “ready”, it is still a frightening thought of leaving this world to a still uncertain destination. It is appropriate then for us to be prepared when the time comes. Our day’s end prayer would approximate that of offering our body and soul to God so that we would be able to wake up to a new day. Not only to that but also the readiness to face death, if ever we are called in our sleep.
This Sunday, the Gospel tells us of the blind beggar Bartimaeus who asked our Lord to be given the chance to “see again”. Jesus said in reply, “Be on your way. Your faith has healed you.” (Mk. 10: 46-52)
The beggar actually didn’t waste time and even shouted louder when he was being asked to keep quiet. Blessings sometimes come to us when we least expect it, and even in quite difficult conditions requiring us to compete with others. Bartimaeus desperate conditions made him shout in order to catch Jesus’ attention, who was passing by unexpectedly. He made the immediate decision to call on Jesus, because it is his only way to catch the attention of the Lord.
Today, we are reminded to be thoughtful in the prayers we make. Our attention is called to the quality of our intentions and to whom and what we pray for. We are encouraged to pray for things that matter and not on things that are mere desires and earthly. Just like Bartimaeus, we should be able to discern the most important things in our lives that need instantaneous correction. Immediate because we don’t know the hour or circumstance when we are called back. Oftentimes in these areas of our lives Jesus’ healing is needed.
We are called to reflect on our own lives, how and what are we praying for. Are the intentions we are praying the things that really matter? Are we focused on aspects of our lives that need God’s healing touch?
The Gospels in the coming Sundays will speak of the end of days. Just like when we are about to sleep, let us make sure we pray for the most relevant intentions. We need to offer ourselves to Jesus, who is the only one who can heal us of our deepest infirmities. We need to do this because firstly, we need to ensure we are in a state of grace when we pass on. Secondly, we need to look into ourselves, whether we have lived the purpose for which God created us. And thirdly, whether we have lived a life to serving God and others.
It is therefore a compelling thing for us to ask Jesus to make us “see again”. Just like the blind beggar, our prayer should be on the things that matter most, and not on the things which are irrelevant and unimportant. Let us take note that when it is God who open our eyes, the first thing we see is God. Let us therefore shout out to our Lord to make us “see again”, so that we see Him and know what He wants us to do.
This way, we can be confident that we are directed to things that matter most to God. In doing so, we can be sure of being victorious and focused. We can be confident of always prioritizing the Spirit. For obedience to His will is what matters above all else.