This is how I

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

The restoration of Bartimae’us sight appears to be a rather ordinary. Yet understood within the context of the Gospel of Mark, it serves as a profound revelation about seeing rightly and living in discipleship.

Mark 8:22 tells of the healing of another blind man. In this case, Jesus has to try twice to bring clear sight to the man at Bethsaida. At face value it seems odd that Jesus cannot restore the man’s sight the first time around, but when seen as a parallel to how Jesus deals with His disciples and us it becomes clearer.

Jesus doesn’t give up on making things clear to us. He tries over and over to help us see clearly by the light of faith. Later in Mark 8:29 Jesus asks His disciples their opinion – “Who do you say that I am?” The disciples finally see Jesus for who He is as Peter declares, “You are the Messiah.” As soon as Peter has said that, Jesus begins to teach them about the suffering He must endure. Peter rebukes Jesus and tells Him how he thinks things should go. Jesus plainly tells Peter to get behind Him because Peter doesn’t see clearly. Jesus teaches His disciples over and over that as Messiah he must suffer and die, yet the disciples repeatedly fail to see clearly. Like James and John they think that following Jesus will bring them glory and power.

Jesus repeatedly tries to help His disciples see. Thanks be that He does that for us too since we too can miss the fact that discipleship requires a radical change in our vision, in our way of seeing and understanding.

Now in Mark 10:46 we come across blind Bartimae’us. The blind man lights the way to discipleship and response as it should be. We see Bartimae’us doing all that is required of Jesus’ disciples – a way of living and acting that is hope-filled and authentic.

Bartimae’us, the son of Timae’us, which means ‘the honorable one and son of honor,’ shows how we are to respond to Jesus’ call. Bartimae’us hears that Jesus is near and calls out to Him. As Jesus’ disciples we need to recognize when Jesus is near – indeed how near He is – and we must call out to Him in prayer and petition. The crowd attempts to shout Bartimae’us down yet he cries all the louder. As Jesus disciples we need to speak the truth regardless of the voice of the world. Bartimae’us responds to Jesus’ healing not by going his own way, but by leaving behind his cloak, his all, to follow Jesus. This is the essence of discipleship: to see Jesus clearly and follow along His way.

Reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Awesome Moms lead us to see Jesus

For I see…
What do you see?

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.”

Today, our readings and Gospel look at the present and the future.

As Stephen is about to die he looks up and sees Jesus at the right hand of the Father. He is heading toward Jesus, to His loving embrace. Stephen has Jesus with him in his suffering, and because of that forgives his murders. He is also joyful, even in the midst of the stoning, because He knows what the future holds. Stephen is in a moment so totally now, and in his (and our) future.

John is on the island of Patmos. Jesus is speaking with him once again in terms that can be read as very now, in the present, and for the future. Jesus tells John that He is the Alpha and the Omega – timeless. He also tells John: “Behold, I am coming soon.

We look at these statements and from them understand that Jesus is ever present, always with us and is also the ultimate goal, our promised future. John knows that Jesus is his present and future. To him Jesus is a joy, better than any other thing the world can offer.

Jesus is delivering His farewell address to His disciples just before the road that will lead Him to Calvary. He is reminding them that they are bound to Him by their knowledge and love, by their unity. They have the reality of God living with and in them, ever present, ever now. They also hear that they have a share in the future reality of God – the kingdom and paradise.

Like Stephen, like John, we need to listen to Jesus and rely on this reality – that He is with us in this moment, in the present, and is not just as a goal or someone we will meet in the future. Also, that we have a share in a wonderful future that surpasses any suffering or difficulty.

Our mothers have seen what Stephen and John saw. They brought us into the Holy Church so that we would see these things, so that we might listen to Jesus and understand a moment so totally now, and a vision for our future.

Because of their faith and the instruction they provided for us we were given an opportunity. When asked, ‘What do you see?’ how will we answer? If we took mom’s lessons to heart we can say: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” Saying that we can offer this vision to others. We can let them know about Jesus who is with us now and is our future.