Readings for Sunday, October 28
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52
In this story from Mark’s Gospel we read that a sizable crowd has assembled and is following Jesus and his disciples. Bartimaeus, who is blind and begging by the side of the road, cries out to Jesus and “many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.”
The first question that comes to mind is why would people who were assembled around the preaching of Jesus, and preparing to literally follow him as he left Jericho, be so quick to rebuke someone who was simply reaching out to the very person they themselves would follow? Why would these people be so quick to try and exclude others from the grace, teaching, and healing of Jesus?
Perhaps one explanation is the view that a person which such an infirmity must have somehow drawn punishment from God upon themselves because of sin, as in the story in John’s Gospel of the man born blind. Another explanation could be that these people in the crowd had a jealous view toward Jesus’ prophetic teaching. They were not yet ready to share Jesus with others.
None of us would immediately identify ourself as being like those in the crowd who rebuked Bartimaeus as he cried out. But consider if there are times in our day when we hear family, friends or co-workers invite us into conversation about our faith. In those times, are we ready to share Jesus with others? Can we appropriately share our faith – share Jesus – with a person we hardly know?
There are times when we happen upon an opportunity to share our Catholic faith with others, even strangers. How comfortable are we in those times? Do we outwardly and expressly share our love for the Lord, or do we let the opportunity pass away and keep our faith inside where it feels more comfortable?
The renewal of Vatican II calls each of us, clergy and layperson alike, to a life of holiness and evangelization. Because of the ministry carried out by Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for us on the cross, we are able to boldly share his love with others. We are able to speak out (even shout) with joy about the wonders of our God. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy!
Deacon Davis ministers at Sacred Heart Church in Chestertown, Md.