A WORD FROM FR. BOB
Dear Church Family,
Bartimaeus? Now who is that? The character in this scripture that’s described only in the gospel of Mark as his name is Bartimaeus/Bartimaea. Who is that? He is a very humble person who goes before his or her God with imperfections, maybe even blindness, maybe at the bottom of the economic scale, one who doesn’t have anything but comes open handed to the Lord to pray that he or she may really see. Here we have physical blindness but also maybe being a Bartimaeus we have spiritual blindness. Even as I say Bartimaeus, I think of the musical, “The Man from LaMancha”, where Don Quixote in one scene keeps calling this very poor woman, who was a woman of the street, very rough and troubled, but instead of calling her by her regular name, he calls her Dolsanea. Dolsanea means “sweet, loving one.” And so, the Lord calls us in our humble state to be that type of person and why? Because Bartimaeus was first a person of faith, deep faith, who thought things could get better and he was fearless and bold. In the scriptures he said in a bold spirit, “he threw off his cloak and got up, came to the Lord and spoke what he really wanted, but in a humble way”. Then after he is healed he responds to the healing by doing more than just being grateful he follows Jesus on the “Way”. But what’s the Way? It looks like that is really following Jesus with our whole heart and soul because he was always open to conversion, our spiritual insights or new way of acting daily. So, reflect today on any way that you have had a conversion an insight or a new way of acting. For example, maybe you were angry and crabby in your home and daily life, and then suddenly you woke up and said, “That’s not the way to be even with all the pressures in life”. You prayed and prayed, and you changed your attitude. Attitude is everything. Maybe you can think of something that God has anointed and healed you so that you can more and more live a life of gratitude. Alleluia!! Be a Bartimaeus.
The letter to the Hebrews has very important sacred words for me because I had that passage proclaimed at my first Mass, “You are a priest forever according the order of Melchizedek”. So, I truly know that I am able to accept this call. I don’t take this to myself, but I feel that God has called me. I just buried one of my classmates Friday, Fr. Ferd Westlow. He like me came from one of our catholic schools. He went to DuBourg and I went to CBC. At that time, we developed that call through the years and know that as it says in the scriptures, “He is able to do that because He himself is weak” and so accepting my weaknesses and my limitations I still felt called by the Lord. We are all called in some way or another to just live holy lives.
Finally enjoy that first reading that has so many positive words of blessing. Listen to the verbs in this reading from the prophet Jeremiah. He is talking to us. We are blessed Then shout with joy, exalt proclaim your praise and blessings for the Lord who has delivered you. When you were lost you were found and he proclaims, “I will bring you back and gather you from the very ends of the earth and all the poor and troubled of our society will be able to be returned in a great number. Although we departed in tears and troubles the Lord says, “I’ll console you and guide you and lead you to blessings to brooks of water and it will be on a level road where you will not stumble or fall and finally I will be a father to you”. All those words help us to be challenged today to be a Bartimaeus/Bartimaea.
Love, Fr. Bob