Jesus and the Apostles came to Jericho and were followed by a great crowd. There was a blind man, Bartimaeus (see Mark 10:46-52) begging by the side of the road. He called out to Jesus "Jesus Son of David, have pity on me." The crowd told the blind beggar to be silent but again, he cried out for Jesus' help. Jesus heard him and asked the man what he wanted. "The blind man replied to him, 'Master, I want to see.'" Scripture tells us that the man was healed.
When we call out to Jesus asking for His help, He hears us and he will heal us! When other people call out to you, please lend a helping hand, too. Someone I know well needed help. He was hurting deeply. His main problem was that he was afraid of other people although he was trying very hard to overcome these fears. One of the managers in the company he was working for in New York City, a good Catholic, identified a need. He saw this young man struggle and suggested professional help but the young man could not afford this. The manager agreed to help in a wonderful way. He made an arrangement to donate undisclosed sums of money to a Catholic church. In turn, the church agreed to pay for the professional services the young man needed to be at peace with himself. After more than a year of these services, the young man overcame his problems. Jesus answered the prayers of all concerned.
Similar acts of charity go on all the time but for the most part they are unheralded. There are many people who are blind. Oh, they have eyes that can see but their blindness is of a different nature. What they cannot see anymore are their own shortcomings. They have become hardened to sin. These are the people who lie to their families, to their employers and to themselves in order to cover their trail of shortcomings. They don't even think about it, it comes so naturally. Their language has deteriorated; they no longer are reverend. They have forgotten that we are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Are YOU one of these blind people? If so, take a good look at yourself. You may be "making it" in this world, but you're not making it with God. Before it is too late, do something about it. First, slow your life down a little, so that you have time for your family and for God. Then pray. You don't have to make a big announcement to anyone but just DO IT. You don't know how? It's easy! Turn inwardly to Jesus and ask Him: "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." Keep asking Him for his help, and while you're at it, praise Him for what He is doing for you. He has given you a family, a home, a nice car, and a nice computer… and many other material things that can be used for great good. I pray that if you need healing that Jesus will heal you soon!
Sometimes I "rerun" old compositions, and this is one of them. The above reflection was first published as #6 of my writings and reflections, and that number tells me that I was a monk when I first wrote this, probably around 1998 or 1999. But that's not important. What is important is that we remember the lesson learned in Scripture and also from experience, that when we ask Jesus to step into our lives, or the lives of others, He helps. He heals, He refreshes our perspective and those who look at the world with dark-colored glasses often will view life on this planet in a better way.
There is enough sad news to go around. No, don't stick your head in the sand. But pray for all these things you hear about which offend God, affect ourselves and our neighbors, and most of all pray for Peace all around. Regardless what you feel politically, these ongoing revolts in the Middle East place all of us in grave danger. When God is asked for help, it doesn't matter what Nationality you are. God transcends all that, He wishes for us to suffer less, and feel more loved and at peace. The "human condition" is a product of our own making. We cannot blame God for that, and we mustn't. But rather than lay blame, just pray and fast during this time of Lent, for all these intentions. And let people just be at Peace with each other, and with God.
St. Francis of Assisi, let us be a bearer of peace and a bring good will to all.
F. Schaeffer, OFS