MARK 10: 46-52 OCTOBER 25, 2009
This is a wonderful homily for a baby baptism mass. When the baby cries, the parents have to put everything else aside and attend to the baby. Babies cannot talk and tell you what they want or need. What if a parent said, "Don't bother me, I'm busy." You would think the parent rather callous and self-centered. If I were to ask someone for assistance and they were to ignore me, or say, "Don't bother me," I would be upset and hurt.
Yet, the disciples of Jesus are just that, hard and callous. They have a plan and a schedule. They are on their way somewhere. Maybe they see themselves protecting Jesus from annoyances. But what if Jesus came to save "annoyances." I bother God every day with my annoyances, my requests for attention and agenda. If God is not going to pay attention to annoying people like me, then I am indeed in dire straits.
I wonder if the blind man, Bartimaeus, thought that the disciples were annoyances? They were trying to shut him up, to snuff out his response to faith in Jesus. These disciples were to be the first bishops, the first evangelizers. They started out doing a pretty poor job of it. That annoys me.
But wait! Jesus might be asking us to be open and non-judgmental of people that seem to be annoying. Jesus accepts Bartimaeus as is. Jesus accepts the disciples as they are, for now. Jesus gives Bartimaeus sight so that Batimaeus can chose which is the "way" for him. We are called to be helpful to the helpless. If someone asks for help or cries for help, ours is not to judge. Ours is to respond. If they can speak, ask them, "What do you want?" There may be times or situations in which we cannot be of help, but we can be kind. We won't know unless we ask, "What do you want?"