THIRTIETH – SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
“The Lord has done great things for us” sums up the sentiments of the first reading and the Gospel. The second reading points to the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood.
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 31:7-9
There is great joy in the community on returning to their homeland after a long period of exile. The “remnant” is the name given to the small number of people who remained faithful to God during the time of exile. The joy of the exiles, and the blind being cared for, connect this reading to the Gospel where we meet a man full of joy after Jesus heals him of blindness.
SECOND READING: Hebrews 5:1-6
One must possess two essential qualities to assume the responsibilities of the office of high priest. He must be (1) called by God, and (2) able to empathize with the fragility of those he serves. Jesus, of course, was called and anointed by God. Because he was fully human, he was able to empathize with the weaknesses and sufferings of others.
GOSPEL: Mark 10:46-52
For several weeks, Jesus is on a journey to Jerusalem. As he travels, he acts as teacher, offering several lessons on the nature of true discipleship, and he speaks about his own identity and mission. For the most part, his disciples and would-be disciples are blind and uncomprehending. They simply “do not see.” But finally, we encounter one who does see, namely, Bartimaeus. First, he shows that he recognizes the true nature of Jesus by calling him “Son of David,” a title reserved for the Messiah. After he receives his physical sight, he becomes a follower of Jesus: “He started to follow Jesus up the road.” In contrast, the disciples do not know who Jesus is; they have not yet become true disciples. No doubt, it is Jesus’ hope that the presence of Bartimaeus (a new convert) in the midst of the disciples would help them to see who Jesus really is and also help them to become true disciples of Jesus, surrendering everything to follow him.
In today’s second reading, one quality demanded of a high priest is the ability to empathize with the weaknesses of others. What can help us to develop that important virtue within us?