The story of the restoring of the sight of Bartimaeus is the last miracle story in Mark’s Gospel as Jesus makes his final journey towards Jerusalem. It is the only story in this Gospel which names the person healed by Jesus. Bartimaeus hasn’t a lot going for him as he sits by the roadside begging from those passing by. He may have lost his sight but he has acute hearing and a voice to match, shouting, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ He is not put off by the crowd who want to silence him, rather he shouts all the louder, and Jesus tells the crowd to come to him. Leaving his cloak he leaps to his feet and Jesus asks, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Bartimaeus needs no time to ponder, ‘Master, that I may see again.’ His determination, his refusal to be put off, his utter faith that Jesus could cure him are rewarded, ‘Go’ says Jesus, ‘your faith has saved you.’ But he does not go, rather he follows Jesus along the road, a blind beggar now a fully sighted disciple. During this coming week we might want to ask ourselves what answer we would give to Jesus if he asked us, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
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Go gently, Fr Bernard
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