Thursday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time
[Scripture Readings: Sir 42:15-25; Mk 10:46-52 ]
When the crowd tells Bartimaeus to keep quiet, he cries out all the louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The misery of Bartimaeus helps him to see what others are missing: not only who Jesus really is, but also their own limitations and their need for mercy.
In Fr. Michael's1 conferences to our novices this week, he said that he came to the monastery expecting to be holy in a short time. But what he and all of us find is a long struggle with sin and weakness. We expected that by coming here we would get past this habit or that particular sin or this limitation. Instead, we uncover our reluctance and resistance to God's will, and how hard it is to change. We feel out of place, suspended between the world we left and the world we are unworthy to live in. But seeing this is not a liability. It's actually a grace to uncover our sinfulness. This awakening draws us into the heartfelt cry of Bartimaeus, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me a sinner.” And his prayer was heard.