Sunday Soundbite for October 24, 2021

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B
October 24, 2021

Today’s Gospel story of blind Bartimaeus–the man who receives his sight from Jesus–brings back memories. In grade school I read a fictional story of the life of Bartimaeus prior to that encounter with Jesus. It’s what’s called the “back story” in movies–the history of the character not portrayed on the screen. I don’t remember the name of that book, but the memory has been with me all these years.

Imagining a whole life history for Bartimaeus helps me to put his response to Jesus into a context. We don’t know the real story of course, and can only work with what Mark gives us.

But I think that like Bartimaeus, each of us is a person with some degree of faith. You wouldn’t be attending to my words here if you weren’t. Like him, we want to see. Our deepest wishes, our courage when we take a risk, the generosity we might feel in response to God’s grace, are all inside of us like they were in Bartimaeus.

Today, God invites us to step out of our personal stories into the lights, in front of the camera, and into the story of the Kingdom. What a thrilling and dramatic moment it is as we hear the Lord ask us, “What do you want me to do for you?”

And our response…?

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