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when you need to shout

30th Sunday

It is already giving us mental and emotional fatigue to follow up on current events. Calamity after calamity yielded sad stories on television and radio news and programs. After the typhoons, came the floods and more typhoons preparing to invade our territory. Last week, an earthquake shook some places. What’s next in coming keeps people on tiptoes and watchful guard.

And these happening do not only impact nature and the environment. They affect people whose lives are already heavy with problems in relationships, in finances, in the workplace and a host of other personal concerns. Sometimes, remembering all these makes you just want to cry out: Why are all these happening now? When will all these cease?

Bartimaeus was a man who can understand the load we are now carrying as a people and as individuals. He was blind, in a society that looks upon blindness as a pitiable malady. He was poor, because his blindness excludes him from profitable ventures. He was outside the mainstream of society because he did not share in the beauty other people around him behold.

Perhaps all these experiences weighed so heavily in his heart that when he heard people saying that Jesus was passing by, he did not hesitate to shout at the top of his lungs: Son of David, have pity on me!

It was not meant to be a pious prayer. It did not matter to him that he was disturbing other people. He wanted them to know he was tired of all these sufferings, that he’s had had enough share of troubles, that he wanted a way out of his darkness. Most of all, he wanted Jesus to hear his woes. He wanted to disturb Jesus as the Lord passed by. And deep in his heart, he knew something that others did not know. He knew that by being open and honest and courageous in calling out loud, Jesus will stop in his tracks and pay attention. He has not met him before, but the man they called Jesus, was the loving God who could remove all his pain, restore his sight and give him back his life.

Needless to say, his prayer was answered. His faith was rewarded.

How must we pray? Are there rules to follow in praying so that God will answer us? For Bartimaeus, you simply need to follow your heart and shout to the Lord who is passing by.

At Mass, we know that Jesus is more than passing by. He is truly here, listening, caring, touching each of us. Call his attention to your situation. Tell him what you desire. Be true. Be courageous. In your heart, shout to the Lord. And be filled with faith.

While we pray the Mass, there are powerful occasions to voice out the prayers from our hearts – at the Prayers of the Faithful, when we say “Lift up your hearts”, when we say “Through him, with him, in him…”, and when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion. These are moments of faith.

Jesus is passing by, and like Bartimaeus, shout! And receive your healing… receive your light.