Mk 10: 46-52




Many of the healing encounter of Jesus never mentioned the names of those who were healed. We just know that the Lord healed a “man with a withered hand,” a “woman who had hemorrhages,” the “daughter of Jairus,” or the “centurion’s servant.” That is why in today’s Gospel we have the rare opportunity to know the blind man who was healed. Introducing… Bartimaeus!


Why was the blind beggar Bartimaeus explicitly named? Was it because his father Timaeus was well known? Was it to prove that Jesus did actually heal a real and not fictitious person? Or was it because this blind man has a special message addressed to our blindness today? I favor the last one!


When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, he shouted: Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! No, he didn’t pray silently; nor did he whisper fervently his humble wish. Instead, he shouted at the top of his voice that it embarrassed people and they told him to stop his noisy display. But Bartimaeus’ plan succeeded; Jesus noticed him, called him, and healed him totally.


He may be blind, but Bartimaeus had clear interior eyes, eyes of faith. He saw in Jesus his only hope. He saw in Jesus overflowing power. He saw in Jesus the God of mercy passing by. And he would not miss this chance to meet him and beg him, not for coins, but for light! Blindness recognized the source of light and grabbed it for himself.


Today, one of the most treasured prayers of the Orthodox believers is called the Jesus Prayer, a modified version of the blind man’s. They repeat as mantra: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This prayer is known to bring calmness when one is anxious, sleep when one is troubled at night, and freedom from temptation and the attacks of demons. Try repeating this prayer slowly, meditatively, on your Rosary beads. It helps me a lot, too…


What darkness do you now experience in your life? Doubts? Financial problems? Relational problems? Stress or fear? Sickness? Remember that when we are blinded by the dark forces of this world, Jesus listens to the cry of the blind who calls to him. In darkness, do not lose hope. In darkness, learn to shout and believe in your heart: Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!