The Ability to Really See
Opening Question: What is your favorite place to be? Close you eyes and imagine that place. Describe that place. What are you doing there? (Ask for people to share).
First Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-9
Sarah looked forward to the holiday trip at her grandmother's house. She would get to see all her cousins, play with Grandma's old, beautiful dolls, and run through her large backyard that had its own pond. The last time she went to Grandma's she got dirty and no one cared. Grandma house meant good food, good company, and good times. It meant a place to be free and explore. It was a truly happy place.
In today's first reading, Jeremiah told the people they would be going home. They had been scattered throughout the world by choice or be force. But, God would bring them together. The trip home would go smoothly. He would take care of everyone, including the sick and the blind. They would all be together in their favorite place.
For some people, their favorite place is at Grandma's. For others, it is home after a long journey. Still, for others who are sick, it is the ability to be well and whole again. Let us pray that God will take us to our favorite place, where we will have truly happy hearts.
Bridging Question: Has anyone taken you on a walk or obstacle course blindfolded? What happened?
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
Jesus and his followers passed through Jericho. As they left along with a large crowd, Bartimaeus the blind beggar sat alongside the road. When the beggar heard Jesus of Nazareth was walking by, he shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
"Be quiet!" many in the crowd whispered to the beggar.
"SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" the beggar shouted even louder.
Jesus stopped and said, "Call the man over here."
"Hey! Get up! Jesus is calling for you," many in the crowd said to the beggar.
The beggar threw off his coat, jumped up, and went to Jesus. Jesus answered the man's request with a question. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked the beggar.
"Teacher," the beggar replied, "I want to see."
"Go," Jesus said, "your trust in me has cured you." At that very moment, the beggar could see again. So, he followed Jesus on the way.
Tom just got home from the hospital. His bike accident had shattered his glasses; there were pieces of glass that the doctor removed from his eyes. Now, Tom laid in a bed with bandages over his eyes so they would heal. For now, Tom could not see.
Everything was dark. Tom could not watch his favorite shows on television, play games on the computer, read his favorite books or roller skating magazines. He could not see the colors of room, the sun rise or set, or even the brilliant yellow in the roses his family had in his room. All he could do was sit in bed.
Tom tried listening to the radio, but he tired of the music. Someone brought him books on tape and he listened to them; but soon that got old. He played games with his fingers, but he could only do that for so long. All Tom wanted to do was to see again!
Ultimately, Tom quickly got bored; the more he got bored, the more he got frustrated. And the more he got frustrated, the angrier he got. Soon, no one wanted to visit him, because all he did was yell at them.
Finally, Tom prayed: "Jesus, help me. Take this blindness away!" With that prayer, he found some peace and some patience. God heard his prayer and helped him calm his heart. When he thought about his frustration, he would pray and the calm would return. Tom felt God came a little closer.
The day came when the bandages were removed. At first, things were fuzzy, but soon they popped into focus. With his sight restored, Tom wanted to jump for joy. Everything look so new and fresh. Never again would he take his sight for granted. And Tom would always remember that God helped him through his time of darkness. Everyday, Tom thanked God for his sight and the gift of his peace.
Bartimaeus was blind. He wanted Jesus to give him a gift we take for granted. What Bartimaeus got was more than sight; he got faith, the power to see with our mind and heart, the ability to understand. Tom got the same gift, the power to see God's point.
Let us pray we too might see the way God sees.
Closing Question: If we could see our world as God sees it, what would we learn?