1st Reading Jeremiah 31:7-9
2nd Reading: Hebrews 5:1-6
Responsorial: Psalm 126:1-6
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
Saying Yes to Jesus’ Call
Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you. (Mark 10:49)
Today’s readings all involve a call from God. In the first reading, the Lord makes a joyful announcement as he calls his people out of captivity and back to their homeland of Jerusalem. He promises to rescue them and accompany all of them along the way. He is determined to leave no one behind. He is preparing the way for a new covenant, and he wants all his people to join him.
In the second reading, God calls his Son, the unblemished Lamb of God, to the high priesthood as the One who offers forgiveness and whose self-offering shows us the way to our heavenly Jerusalem.
Finally, in today’s Gospel, Jesus issues another call—a calling filled with hope—while on the road to Jerusalem. He calls Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, to his side. He makes it clear that he has come to rescue everyone. He will leave no one behind, not even this blind man. Not even us! The hour has come. Jesus, the great high priest, now walks to the place of his Passover sacrifice where he will offer a new covenant in his blood, and he invites us to join him as joyful witnesses.
As their paths meet, Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and eagerly follows Jesus. What an image! When you receive the Eucharist at Mass, be like Bartimaeus, and throw aside everything that limits your vision and your expectations. He has marvelous plans for your life. So let him heal your heart and fill it with the fire of his love.
As adopted sons and daughters of God, we all have a royal heritage. Don’t let obstacles or difficulties make you lose sight of it! It’s not where you’ve come from, but where you are heading that counts. So try your best to persist, with faith and trust in the Lord. Believe that he will remove what needs to be removed, strengthen what needs to be strengthened, and give you the grace to get up and follow. Remember: he’s calling you!
“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! I want to see!”
(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.)
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah urged the people of God to shout joyfully and exult over what God had accomplished for them: “The Lord has delivered his people” (Jeremiah 31:7). What has the Lord done in your life that causes you to gratefully and joyfully exalt Him?
- The Responsorial Psalm again repeats the theme that God’s people should be filled with joy – more than joy, laughter – because the Lord has delivered his people from captivity and “has done great things for us.” In what way is your relationship with Jesus Christ a great source of joy for you? What steps can you take to deepen that relationship?
- The second reading from the Letter to the Hebrews describes the difference between the Jewish high priest and Jesus Christ, our High Priest. How would you describe these differences? Why do these differences have such an impact on the effect of the sin offering of the Jewish high priests, who “must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people,” as compared to Jesus’ offering of himself on the cross for our sins (see Hebrews 9:13-14)? Do you believe reflecting on these truths, as you prepare to receive the Eucharist at Mass, can make a difference in its impact on your life? Why or why not?
- In the Gospel, we hear of Bartimaeus the blind man, who “kept calling out” beseeching help from Jesus even when rebuked by the disciples to keep quiet? He was rewarded for his persistence and his faith by receiving his sight. How persistent (and consistent) are you in prayer? What can you do to eliminate those things that keep you from a time of prayer each day? Also, how can you deepen your expectancy when you pray?
- In the Gospel, Jesus says to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus answers, “Master, I want to see.” How would you respond if Jesus asked you this same question? Would you be able to respond with the same expectant faith that Bartimaeus had? When you call out to God in prayer for your needs do you believe that he will hear you and respond to you in some way, even if it at times it may not be exactly what you prayed for? In what way is this a good definition of what it means to pray with expectant faith?
- The meditation ends with these words: “As adopted sons and daughters of God, we all have a royal heritage. Don’t let obstacles or difficulties make you lose sight of it! It’s not where you’ve come from, but where you are heading that counts. So try your best to persist, with faith and trust in the Lord. Believe that he will remove what needs to be removed, strengthen what needs to be strengthened, and give you the grace to get up and follow. Remember: he’s calling you!” How would you describe the “obstacles or difficulties” that keep you from your “royal heritage” and from wholeheartedly saying yes to the Lord’s call and plan for your life? What steps can you take to overcome them?
- Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to open your eyes to see more clearly his great love for you, and his “marvelous plans for your life.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.