“He began to cry out, ‘Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.”

Mark 10:47-48

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Mark 10:46–52

Bartimaeus was desperately trying to get Jesus’ attention. This was despite many others around him, who were trying to get him to keep silent. Why was Bartimaeus so insistent on getting an opportunity to speak with Jesus? 

If one reads the whole story, one sees that Bartimaeus had faith that Jesus had the power to heal him. He was certain that if he just got the opportunity to talk with Jesus, his life could be transformed. Because of his faith, this life-changing encounter took place between Bartimaeus and the Lord. 

How different would our interactions with others be if we had faith that these interactions could be transformative? Too often, we remain silent. Too often, we do not have potentially life-changing conversations with people. One of the reasons for this must surely be our fear of how people would react to our sharing. We do not have faith that what we want to share will be well received, and we doubt that the conversation will leave us better off than before. As a result of our lack of confidence, we prefer to remain silent. 

There are two invitations today, which come out of this reflection.

The first invitation is to consider what conversations we might be having with others that could be transformative. Why are we not having those conversations? What is holding us back from speaking out aloud what might be shared?

The second invitation is to consider that others may be trying to have life-changing conversations with us. The invitation here is to consider how we might facilitate these conversations. Are we truly listening to those closest to us? Are we making it easier or harder for others to share what needs to be shared with us? 

Loving God,

You want to come close to us and to have an intimate friendship with us. Give us the grace today to share our deepest thoughts with you, as well as the grace to listen to your soft voice in our hearts.


Rev. Grant Tungay SJ

Fr Grant Tungay SJ is a lawyer by training, he left a career in law to join the Jesuits. He specialised in human rights law and has done volunteer work at the SA Human Rights Commission and also worked as an intern for the Centre of Applied Legal Studies at WITS. He worked at the Jesuit Institute South Africa for a few years in the area of social justice and is interested in the overlap between law, social justice and spirituality.

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