Thursday of the 8th Week of the Year

Mk 10:46-52

The Blind Bartimaeus


Today’s gospel scene is familiar. Blind people are rampant on the streets and in other public places, stretching their hands for alms. Being so used to them, most of us ignore them. Many are reluctant to give, knowing that most of these are just being used by syndicates.

Bartimeaus was among the dregs of Jewish society. Just like our blind people, he had no identity, no value, no voice among the people. That was why the people scolded and silenced him when he shouted: “Jesus son of David, have mercy on me!” He must have heard about Jesus and of His healing power and he must have believed that Jesus was his only hope. Hence, brushing aside all shame and timidity, he mustered courage and strength to shout all the louder.

Jesus silenced the crowd by saying: “call him over.” At this moment Jesus nullified the anonymity of the man and initiated the dialogue by asking him: “What do you want me to do for you?” This was He was allowing the man to have a voice and giving him a chance to express his innermost yearning, “I want to see again.” With a normal eyesight he knew he could work and earn a decent living and thus, regain human dignity. Perhaps the greatest loss a person can experience in this life is the lose of human dignity.

Overjoyed at his immediate healing Bartimeaus followed Jesus up the road. This means he walked in the footsteps of Jesus. He became a disciple. It is said that he was among the members of the early Christian community in Jerusalem. What a great form of gratitude! (Sr. Angelita, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


During a conversation with Mother Teresa the “living saint”, she summarized her experiences by saying: “Father, the poor teach us how to become saints.”

Some years back, I and a European ambassador visited a leprosarium. It was shocking to see the worst cases: people without toes, fingers, ears and lips, their eyes blank.

As a band outside played for us visitors, we came to talk with one of the worst cases, a lady, sitting on her bed and moving happily to the rhythm of the music. Obviously she could still hear. The ambassador asked her the secret of her apparent happiness. She searched with her arms stumps until she found a small crucifix. “When suffering becomes unbearable I touch Christ’s body and think: He was innocent but suffered so much more than me, a sinner. Then I can go on and be happy.” We were deeply moved. The poor teach us how to become saints!

The blind Bartimaeus, too, is an unlikely teacher to guide me a step forward in the road to holiness. He was a helpless creature, a blind beggar. But he “saw” what Christ’s disciples of three years still did not see: that for Jesus nothing was impossible. This blind man also showed what I, after decades of being a follower of Christ, still don’t have – the courage and determination to reach out in faith to Him. I am still blind to wrong attitudes in myself, blind to certain needs of others, too blind to see God’s love and goodness everywhere. I still try to help myself or seek help in wrong places.

It could be so easy! Bartimaeus teaches me that with trust, courage and determination to reach Christ, miracles would begin to happen in my spiritual life. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


Once I went to a masseur or manghihilot because of back pain. The manghihilot who is blind made the sign of the cross and prayed before putting his hands on my back. Two days later the pain was gone.

Blindness did not impair the manghihilot’s gift of healing. I believe he has a gift and he acknowledged it by praying first before doing his task.

A blind beggar named Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus despite the crowd’s rebuke. The manghihilot on the other hand quietly prayed. They both saw their helplessness but they also trusted that Jesus that Jesus would answer them. Bartimaeus and the manghihilot maybe blind but their hearts are “all eyes” to the presence of God. They use their hearts to see what God wants them to see. In other words, their spiritual senses are alive.

There are people who have their physical senses intact but are spiritually blind, cripple, dumb and deaf. We cannot see what Jesus really means unless we open our spiritual senses….unless we open our hearts like what Bartimaeus and the manghihilot did. (Fr. Emmanuel Ferrer, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


May 26, 2016 Thursday

“Your faith has saved you.” What inspiring words of Jesus! In my experience, Australians and New Zealanders are not really as expressive with their faith unlike those of other cultures. However their deep faith is shown in their dedication and commitment.. When I was parish priest in New Zealand, several months back, I observed that even at a stormy night, people would nd a way to attend a meeting.

The gospel for today is talking about a blind man, who when he heard that Jesus was passing by, wouldn’t pass up this opportunity to get healed. And he got what he wanted and followed Jesus all because of his faith.

What does it mean to have faith? Faith can never be defined if God is not included in that definition.  To have faith is to believe in God even if God himself can’t be seen physically. The letter to the Hebrews tells us that “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”  (11, 1) And to have this is no easy job. And yet, we are all given this faith by God by virtue of our baptism. What we need to do is to nurture this faith so it will grow.

As we continue to reflect on this reading, we ask ourselves, how is our faith? What do we do to nurture it? Is it growing stronger or does it wane whenever life gives us some challenges? Jesus said to Bartimeaus that it was his faith that saved him. There are times when our faith is not as strong as Bartimeaus’ and yet we all need to be saved. Let Jesus increase our faith so that in times of difficulties, we would be saved.

Fr. Elmer Ibarra, SVD | Sydney, Australia


Proclaiming God´s Merciful Love

May 28, 2015 (readings)

Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Eamonn Shelly, LC

Mark 10: 46-52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Introductory Prayer: Once again, Lord, I come to you to pray. Even though I cannot see you, I trust that you are present and very much want to instruct me in your teachings. In the same way that you demonstrate your love for me by spending this time with me, I want to express my love for you, by dedicating this time to you with a spirit of faith, confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord, to listen to you and respond with love.

Petition: Lord, grant me to be a courageous witness of you and your Kingdom.

  1. Attentive Listening:We need to hear Christ telling us in our hearts to go and preach with our lives. We spend so much time thinking about ourselves and so little time thinking about Jesus and his Kingdom. Through baptism he has called us not just to know about our faith, but to act on it and share it with others. The blind beggar was attentive to Jesus passing by; this attentiveness was the first step to his cure.
  2. Fearless Proclamation:Christ wants us to be as St. Paul was: bold in preaching and defending the truth. He wants us to overcome human respect. Many times we catch ourselves being influenced by what others think and say, and we are incapable of being ourselves. The world tries to intimidate us by laughing at us and making us look ridiculous. What they really want to do is just force us to live our faith in a private manner without bearing witness to Christ and the truth. At those times we should be like Bartimaeus—crying out even more loudly, standing up for what is right, and sticking by it at all times. It’s going to cost us, but then again, didn’t it cost Christ his life to stand up for the truth?
  3. Restoration of Sight:Blind Bartimaeus’ life would never again be the same. He was completely transformed by Christ interiorly—even his physical ailment was cured. He could see again. “To see” means to understand our life and all it entails from God’s perspective. “To see” means that we are happy fulfilling God’s will for us, no matter what God is asking of us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I ask you to help me to see the great things you are doing in my life. Help me to see the moments of the cross as true opportunities to grow in my personal relationship with you.

Resolution: I will use Jesus Christ’s name and example in a conversation I have with someone today.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for May 28, 2015


“You have nothing to fear from Him! Get up! He is calling you!” –Mark 10:49

Because of our sins, we are in some way spiritually blind. By grace, we may begin “to call out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on’ ” us! (Mk 10:47) Then many things inside pressure us to be quiet (see Mk 10:48). What if Jesus did have mercy on us? What if He opened our eyes? We would see our sinfulness, our lives, and even reality. Moreover, healed blind people no longer qualify for the social securities of comforts, excuses, and sympathy. Then what would we do? We would need to repent. So it’s best to keep quiet and to keep blind.

God’s grace, however, prompts us to shout “all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on’ ” us! (Mk 10:48) Jesus stops and calls us over (Mk 10:49). Now we’re really in trouble. Jesus asks: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mk 10:51) With courage, we say: we “want to see” (Mk 10:51), even with all its frightening responsibilities. Jesus says to us: “Be on your way. Your faith has healed you” (Mk 10:52). Immediately, we receive our sight and start to follow Jesus as never before (see Mk 10:52).

Do you have the love and faith to be healed of spiritual blindness? Do you have the guts to see?

PRAYER: Father, take away all the crutches in my life.

PROMISE: “He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.” –Sir 42:19

PRAISE: Jim, a psychiatrist, donates half of his working hours to a Christian counseling group. He imitates Jesus as he ministers to the brokenhearted and gives liberty to those in bondage (see Lk 4:18).


May 28, 2015

Thursday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Sir 42:15-25,

Mk 10:46-52


Through today’s first reading the author of the book of Sirach shares his wisdom with us. He says, “God is from all eternity one and the same, With nothing added, nothing taken away; no need of a counselor for him! How beautiful are all his works, even to the spark and fleeting vision! The universe lives and abides forever; to meet each need, each creature is preserved.” Very often we hear people questioning and wondering why God permits certain events to occur and allow certain people to exist. We are often tempted to counsel God. Sirach tells us that God does not need a counselor and each creature is preserved to meet certain needs. He continues, “All of them differ, one from another, yet none of them has he made in vain, for each in turn, as it comes, is good.” This revelation or wisdom is something that we are still to comprehend and accept. We live in a world of duality. In spite of a strict warning from Jesus not to judge we divide everything into good and bad. Sirach reveals to us the eternal wisdom that everything is good as it comes. God has not created anything in vain. What we lack is the patience and the vision to see the goodness in everything.

Today’s Gospel presents before us a blind person called Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus. The meaning of the name Timaeus is ‘honor’ or the ‘saved’. What a contradiction, the son of ‘honor’ or the ‘saved’ is doing something ‘dishonorable’ – begging! Through begging he invalidates and damages the reputation of his as well as his father’s name. The name and the titles we bear require from us a serious responsibility to validate them through our words and deeds. The merit of Bartimaeus is this: He did not pretend, he was aware of his blindness and wanted to be saved. The problem today is that many people pretend and walk around claiming that they are ‘saved’ and are ‘honorable’ while they are not. What they lack is vision, or self-knowledge. Ours is a world where the blind leads the blind. Bartimaeus was humble enough to recognize his blindness and bold enough to cry out for help. Help is not far away since God is with us. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


May 26, 2016

1 Pt 2: 2-5, 9-12; Mk 10:46-52

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

Saint Philip Neri whose memory we celebrate today is renowned for his spontaneous, unpredictable, charming and humorous temperament. He used to say, “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast one.” He was born in 1515 in Florence, Italy.

Once while praying he felt a globe of light enter his mouth and sink into his heart. This astounding experience stirred him to dedicate his life to the service of God. In 1551 Philip got ordained as a priest and dedicated his time to hear confession. Soon Philip realized that the penitents needed something more than absolution; they needed guidance. So Philip asked them to come for discussion and spiritual readings and then stay for prayer in the evening. Philip eventually understood that it was not enough to tell people what they should not do; instead they should be motivated to engage in positive activities. So Philip organized pilgrimages to the Seven Churches with a picnic accompanied by instrumental music for the mid-day break. He found after walking twelve miles in a day everyone was too tired to be tempted!

In today’s Gospel we find Jesus and his disciples on move. The public life of Jesus was in fact a pilgrimage towards his final goal – Jerusalem. His disciples joined him with ambitions of their own. Though Jesus knew them, he was not too much bothered about their personal ambitions. He chose them not on the basis of their merits and worthiness or qualities and qualifications. He was fully aware of their limits and limitations. Yet he led them to Jerusalem, his final goal. It is this example of Jesus that Philip Neri tried to emulate. Paying no attention to their negativities he led people towards a positive goal. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


Reflection for May 28, Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:46-52 Reflection: What is persistence? Persistence is the act of not giving up no matter the great odds against us. We will continue to pursue what we want because we believe deep in our hearts that God will be with us and God will help and hear us.

The blind and poor man Bartimaeus had this very persistent mindset. All the odds were stacked  against him in his desire to have an encounter with Jesus. He was blind and poor, had no power and influence yet when he heard that Jesus was passing by he mightily shouted, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me (Mark 10:48).”

Bartimaeus was rebuked and told to keep silent but the more that he persisted on calling Jesus. What made bartimaeus persist? What made him believe that Jesus would hear him as He passed by?  Bartimaeus had great faith in Jesus, he believed deep in his heart that Jesus would hear and heal him.

How persistent are we in our desire to have an encounter with Jesus? How persistence are we in our desire to get close and to be healed by Jesus?  Do we always pray? Do we always go to Mass? Do we have daily time to read His words in the bible? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reflection for May 26, Thursday Saint Philip Neri, Priest; Mark 10:46-52

Reflection: A middle-aged wife was left by her husband for a younger woman. The wife dearly loved her husband so instead of easily giving-up on him she prayed persistently to Jesus to enlighten her wayward husband. For almost five years this was her morning and evening prayer to Jesus: “Please Jesus have pity on me I love my husband dearly enlighten him, bring him back home to me.”

One day she heard somebody softly knocking on the door, she opened it, lo and behold her remorseful husband was in front of her asking for a second chance and forgiveness. This story is a beautiful story of persistence in prayer and a story of not giving up.

We have in the gospel a blind man named Bartimaeus, because of his blindness there was no way for him to go to Jesus to ask for His healing touch. Therefore, upon hearing that Jesus was passing by he prayerfully shouted, “Jesus, son of David have pity on me.”

He was told to keep quite by those around him but he never obeyed them he instead prayerfully shouted once again: “Son of David have pity on me.” His persistence immediately bore fruit because Jesus called him and after a short conversation with Jesus the blind man was able to regain his sight and he became His follower.

What if Bartimaeus easily gave-up? He could not have been healed and he could not have become a follower of Jesus. Just imagine also if the wife in our story easily gave up on her husband? If she did not pray to Jesus to enlighten and bring back home her wayward husband? They could have separated permanently, but she prayed and she never gave-up. Our prayers can move mountains so long as we never give-up.

How about you do you easily give up when you want something from Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Pope Francis describes the three types of Christians who push people away from God


During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis spoke about the three types of Christians who keep people from God. They are: the selfish, the worldly, and the rigorists.

POPE FRANCIS: “They are Christians in name, parlor room Christians, Christians at receptions, but their interior life is not Christian, it is worldly. Someone who calls himself Christian and lives like a worlding drives away those who cry out for help from Jesus. And then there are the rigorists, those whom Jesus rebukes, those who place such heavy weights on the backs of the people.”

“Consistent” Christians, the Pope said, are those who hear the cries of people who are seeking help from the Lord.

EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE’S HOMILY (Source: Vatican Radio) “This group of people, even today, do not hear the cry of so many people who need Jesus. A group of people who are indifferent: they do not hear, they think that life is their own little group; they are content; they are deaf to the clamor of so many people who need salvation, who need the help of Jesus, who need the Church. These people are selfish, they live for themselves alone. They are unable to hear the voice of Jesus.”

“They are Christians in name, parlor room Christians, Christians at receptions, but their interior life is not Christian, it is worldly. Someone who calls himself Christian and lives like a worlding drives away those who cry out for help from Jesus. And then there are the rigorists, those whom Jesus rebukes, those who place such heavy weights on the backs of the people. Jesus devotes the whole of the twenty-third chapter of St Matthew to them: ‘Hypocrites,’ he says to them, ‘you exploit the people!’ And instead of responding to the cries of the people who cry out for salvation, they send them away.”

“There is the group of Christians who are consistent in what they believe and in how they live, and they help to draw near to Jesus, to the people who are crying out, seeking salvation, seeking grace, seeking spiritual health for their souls.”



Thursday, May 26, 2016

THURSDAY OF THE 8TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 10:46-52. SA UNSA MANG PAGKABUTA KITA ANGAY NGA MAMAAYO? Ang milagrosong pagkaayo ni Bartimeo dili lamang fisikal kondili espiritwal usab. Gibalik ni Hesus dili lamang ang kahayag sa mga mata ni Bartimeo kondili apil usab ang kahayag sa iyang kalag. Matod pa sa ebanghelyo, “Dihadiha nakakita ang buta ug nisugod pagsunod kang Hesus.” Ang pagsunod kang Hesus maoy timailhan sa bag-ong kinabuhi nga gisugdan pagpuyo ni Bartimeo, usa ka kinabuhi nga nahayagan na sa Ginoo. Kasagaran kanato walay problema sa mga mata, apan adunay problema sa kalag, nga maoy hinungdan sa atong pagpakasala. Matod pa ni Helen Keller: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Mag-ampo kita sa Ginoo nga ayohon ang atong panglantaw aron makakita kita unsa gayod ang kinabuhi nga angay natong subayon. Posted by Abet Uy



The Gospel today narrates the familiar story of the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus. It is interesting to note that Mark highlights Bartimaeus as “son of Timaeus” (v. 46). For the Greek readers of his time, that was already a given. Anyone familiar with a little Greek will know that the prefix “Bar” means “son of.” Thus, Bartimaeus is “son of Timaeus.” But Mark intended this Gospel for future readers and the seemingly unnecessary detail “son of Timaeus” leads us into a deeper insight into the blind man’s person and character.

Scripture scholars tell us that “Timaeus” is actually a word that also means, “one who is defiled, unclean, polluted.” Mark therefore is telling us that this blind man is the son of one who is considered “defiled, unclean, polluted.” No charitable persons or institution would dare attend to people like him during his time. That would render them also “defiled, unclean and polluted.” This is the reason he was confined to the roadside begging. This is the reason people wanted to quiet him and shoo him away when Jesus passed by.

Despite being shouted at, Bartimaeus insisted on his “right” to approach Jesus. More than being the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus saw himself as a child of God. Therefore, he was not shy to claim the providence God has for His children. Notice even the way he addressed Jesus. He called Him the “Son of David ” (v. 48). Every Jew knew that the Messiah would be the “Son of David” and He would “bring glad tidings to the poor and recovery of sight to the blind” (see Luke 4:18). When Jesus saw this, Bartimaeus was healed and his faith was commended (v. 52).

In the Scriptures, names usually depict one’s destiny and character. Not with Bartimaeus. He showed that his true character was above his circumstance.Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: In what area of your life do you manifest being a “son of Timaeus?”

Open my eyes to the inheritance You have for me, O Lord. Let my character always rise above my circumstance. Amen.


 May 26, 2016


Saints come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are rather serious-minded (St. Aloysius Gonzaga), while others have a sunny disposition (St. John Berchmans). But the saint we remember today, St. Philip Neri, was in a class by himself, for he was a great joker.

Born in 1515, he died on this date in 1595, having lived all his life in Italy. As a young man he studied philosophy and theology, but at 23 years old abandoned his studies and for 13 years led the life of a fervent layman dedicated to prayer and the Christian apostolate. At the urgings of his spiritual director, he was ordained a priest at the age of 35. As a priest he organized excursions to various churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. Gra­dually several of his followers became priests living together as a community. This was the beginning of what became a new religious Order, the Congregation of the Oratory. Throughout his life Philip was “considered an eccentric buffoon studying to mortify himself and proud Renaissance gentlemen into humility” with all kinds of comic tricks and disguises. Philip Neri stands out among all saints for his gaiety and personal attractiveness.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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