The Readings this Sunday are ones of hope in the midst of difficulty. Our First Reading from Jeremiah speaks to the People of God about their life after their Babylonian exile. In the midst of all their suffering, Jeremiah offers a ray of hope. Despite their faith in God being challenged at the deepest level he foretells of God gathering His people and transforming them from their wretchedness, sickness and despair into a new creation.
In our Gospel, this transforming power of God is shown to the blind beggar Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is not going to be shut up by the crowds. They see only this annoying beggar and want to save Jesus the hassle of dealing with him. Bartimaeus shouts for all he is worth so that Jesus hears him and calls him forward. The people are astounded. This man is the lowest on the pecking order of society and yet Jesus wants to speak to him! Bartimaeus has heard of Jesus and he is not going to let this moment pass, he has faith that his life can be changed by an encounter with Jesus. Jesus’ words to him are; “What do you want me to do for you?” How we would all love to hear those words addressed to ourselves by Jesus. Bartimaeus asks to be able to see. That is something we need to ask for too, not because we are physically blind but we need to be able to see the truth of our situation in life.