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. Mar 2019 .
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Doctrines & Morals

ARE YOU A TRUE DISCIPLE LIKE THE BLIND BARTIMAEUS?* (Jer 31:7-9; Heb 5: 1-6; Mk10:46-52)

Sight remains an important aspect of the human person. No one prays to go blind. The eyes is the light of the body. Without it, everywhere becomes dark. There are 2 types of blindness: physical blindness and spiritual blindness. While physical blindness affects our physical being, spiritual blindness makes us blind to God's work. Spiritual blindness is worse because it makes us loose the very essence of our creation.
Today's liturgy tells us about a high priest, Jesus Christ who has come to restore our sight and to make us whole again. This high priest of ours was one like us because he shared the human nature with us, as the 2nd reading tells us. He thus come to us to heal us of every infirmity and diseases. This is made evident in the gospel reading where he healed the blind Bartimaeus. 
More than healing this blind man, is the lesson we stand to gain from the life of the blind beggar called Bartimaeus and the lesson Jesus communicates to us today. Bartimaeus serves as a perfect example of who a true disciple should be. 
What are the characteristics of a true disciple as seen in the life of Bartimaeus?
*1. A true disciple recognises the voice of the master and follows it.* Bartimaeus heard Jesus was passing and immediately he shouted Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Eventhough he was blind physically, he could see spiritually. Hence, he recognised Jesus as the man to heal him. Thus, he cried out. Do we recognise Jesus in the daily events of life? Do we listen to him in the scriptures?
*2. A true disciple believes even without seeing.* Jesus said to Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believed" (John 20:29). Bartimaeus, though not an Apostle already believed even when he had never seen Jesus. He only heard about him but it was enough for him to believe. Are you the type that wait for miracles before you believe? Or you jump from one place to another in search of miracle? Learn from the blind Bartimaeus. 
*3. A true disciple never gives up on Jesus even in the midst of persecution, rejection and insults.* The people around this blind man urged him to keep quiet. They obviously don't want him to be healed. He however didn't allow them put him down, he persisted and eventually the Lord heard him. God always hears the cry of the poor (Ps. 22: 25). Are you the type that always run away once you experience hatred or persecution from people because of Christ? Remember the words of Jesus in John 15:20, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." Let us learn from the blind Bartimaeus. 
*4. A true disciple leaves everything and follows Jesus.* Upon hearing that Jesus was calling him, Bartimaeus threw his cloak away and went to meet him. The cloth is very significant here. The cloth covers ones nakedness and the cloth could mean what he is using to collect money from people. Going to meet Jesus without a cloth signifies nakedness and emptiness. He ran to Jesus empty because in Jesus, he will gain everything. He left all he had and followed Jesus. He had not receive his healing but he was confident that he will be healed. What cloth are you holding on to that is not making you to follow Jesus closely? Be a true disciple by letting it go.
*5.A true disciple seeks no pleasure in vain glory but he or she is ready to follow Jesus on his way to Jerusalem.* Last week, James and John were looking for positions and glory. Bartimaeus today searched for healing and total union with Jesus. He left everything and followed Jesus on his way to Jerusalem for his passion and resurrection.
Dear friends, in every encounter with Jesus, there must be renunciation and followership. He has come to take our indignities away surely, but we must be ready to let go of something, so that we can tap into the fullness of His healing. Bartimaeus had to let go everything and he received more than healing. 
Lord, open my eyes to a faith-filled life full of love for my neighbour. Grant me the grace to follow you without counting cost. Amen.
Do have a beautiful and restful Sunday. God loves you.
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