“What page, what passage of the inspired books of the Old and New Testaments
is not the truest of guides for human life?” ~Saint Benedict, from the Rule of Saint Benedict (73:3)
“I am where God wills me to be, and so I have found rest and security. His wisdom governs me, His power defends me, His grace sanctifies me, His mercy encompasses me, His joy sustains me and all will go well with me.”
~Prayer from Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
Monday, November 16, 2015 ~ Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Margaret of Scotland; Saint Gertrude
Holy Gospel: Luke 18:35-43 As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
Meditation: It took a certain amount of courage and certainly a strong amount of persistence for Bartimaeus to get the attention of Jesus over the noisy throng who crowded around Jesus as he made his way out of town. Why was the crowd annoyed with the blind man’s persistent shouts? He was disturbing their peace and interrupting their conversation with Jesus. It was common for a rabbi to teach as he walked with others. Jesus was on his way to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem and a band of pilgrims followed him. When the crowd tried to silence the blind man he overpowered them with his loud emotional outburst and thus caught the attention of Jesus. This incident reveals something important about how God interacts with us. The blind man was determined to get Jesus’ attention and he was persistent in the face of opposition of the crowd. Jesus could have ignored or scolded him because he was interrupting his talk and disturbing his audience. Jesus showed that action was more important than talking. This man was in desperate need and Jesus was ready not only to empathize with his suffering but to relieve it as well. Looking at the people around us – those whom we know, those who are total strangers – do we hear the pleas of those in need? Do we do something to help them, and do so out of love?
Prayer ~ Saint Margaret of Scotland: O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer ~ Saint Gertrude: O God, who prepared a delightful dwelling for yourself in the heart of the Virgin Saint Gertrude, graciously bring light, through her intercession, to the darkness of our hearts, that we may joyfully experience you present and at work within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Bartimaeus was not only grateful for the gift of faith and the gift of physical sight, but for the opportunity to now follow Jesus as one of his disciples. Luke tells us that he immediately followed Jesus and gave glory to God. The crowd also gave praise to God when they saw this double miracle of spiritual and physical vision. Saint Cyril of Alexandria, a Father of the Church, comments on this double vision: “Now that he was delivered from his blindness, did he neglect the duty of loving Christ? He certainly did not. It says, ‘He followed him, offering him glory like to God.’ He was set free from double blindness. Not only did he escape from the blindness of the body but also from that of the mind and heart. He would not have glorified him as God, had he not possessed spiritual vision. He became the means of others giving Christ glory, for it says that all the people gave glory to God.” (Commentary on Luke, Homily 126)