Gospel – Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
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.

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

In this week’s gospel, Bartimaeus calls us into a deeper dialogue with ourselves as Christians and as Lasallians with his persistence in being seen by Jesus. We must ask ourselves, “What am I willing to risk to get closer to Jesus?” Jesus is surrounded by a big crowd that could have intimidated someone on the outside. Bartimaeus who is blind, begging, and probably alone, decides to appeal to Jesus’ humanity by calling to him and saying, “I know your Dad, David!” The crowd around Jesus tries to keep Bartimaeus quiet, but he continues to call out in the direction of Jesus. Jesus calls him, and the two meet, healing occurs, and Bartimaeus continues to follow Jesus. He doesn’t become a follower, he already believed, he just asked to be healed and given his sight.

During the founding of the Institute, John Baptist de La Salle was a gifted priest, brother, son, grandson, and citizen. Fervent in his prayer life, study of theology, and care for his family, there is little doubt that he was close to the Lord. John Baptist de La Salle was a native son of Reims, spent time studying in Paris, and yet, did not fully see the very poor people that lived around him.

Through a metanoia experience with poor people, John Baptist De La Salle began to advocate for the uneducated and unsaved. He became entrenched in procuring the glory of God for people who could not procure it for themselves. He believed in the salvation of souls and became a fierce advocate for the least of God’s people: poor children. He was indignant, just as Jesus was when he cleansed the temple. He revolutionized the way we think about education. He spent his last years with the most vulnerable in the Institute at the time: juvenile delinquents, giving them dignity and care that others might not have. In a time where it was easier to look away from the abject poverty surrounding him, the Founder’s legacy was to look right in to the eyes of all children, rich and poor, and invite them into the school. Truly, the Founder made a decision to take so many risks to walk with Jesus: his own ministry, his family, his reputation. This is our mandate: we will only grow in our personal closeness to Jesus when we are willing to risk our personal comfort for those who are at the margins. It is then when our eyes are opened and we can continue on “our way.”

Ms. Margaret Naughton
Associate Director – Lasallian Volunteers
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.