“On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.”

Mark 10:47,49

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Mark 10:46–52

The quote for today introduces us to an exchange that will take place between Bartimaeus and Jesus. Bartimaeus is blind and is calling out to Jesus for help. After all the people around him tell him to keep quiet, Jesus stops and invites Bartimaeus to meet with him. What will Bartimaeus say to Jesus, and what will Jesus say in return?

At first, it seems obvious why Bartimaeus is asking for Jesus to help him. He is a blind beggar, and in the context of all the other healing stories in the Gospel, it would not be surprising if Bartimaeus asks Jesus to heal him as well. But Jesus does not presume that Bartimaeus wants his vision returned. Instead, he asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?” This question invites a true encounter to occur between Bartimaeus and Jesus. Jesus asks this man to open his heart to him, indicating that he is fully open to listening to whatever Bartimaeus wants to say.

In prayer, do we allow a genuine encounter to take place between ourselves and God? Too often, prayer becomes a one-sided interaction. On the one hand, we might read the bible passage of the day and assume that it is obvious what God is trying to say to us. We do not take the time to listen to the soft whispers of God’s voice in our heart, who is trying to speak intimately with us. On the other hand, we might be hesitant to open our hearts up to God, thinking he knows everything anyway. What is the point of us telling him what he already knows? In both situations, we avoid potential moments of intimacy to develop between the Lord and ourselves.

Perhaps take some time out today in prayer and share with God whatever is on your heart. Then, spend some time listening to whatever God’s response might be.

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.

Amen.

 
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.

g.tungay@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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