Saturday of 5 Lent – April 4, 2020

Read Mark 10:46-52

Mark was apparently not a strong literary type.  Greek may have been a second language for him, and the example of his writing found in the Gospel did not show evidence of great learning on his part.  Compared to Luke’s Greek, in both the Gospel and Acts, Mark’s Greek is grammatically simple.  He was less interested in setting out a well constructed literary treatise than he was in faithfully transcribing Peter’s reminiscences, and presenting the Good News as he had experienced it.  So, it is interesting to see how the Holy Spirit inspired so much of what we have read through these five weeks.  And as we come to the conclusion of chapter 10 and Mark’s introduction to the Passion, it is interesting to see the story in today’s reading as a fine literary transition, as well as an uplifting story of our Lord’s healing power at work.

As Jesus and the disciples leave Jericho, they pass by Blind Bartimaeus.  Bartimaeus is a model of Christian conversion.  He exemplifies persistence, opposition to the crowd, and giving up everything to follow Jesus.  When Bartimaeus first hears that it is Jesus leading the crowd passing by, he cries out to him.  The crowd rebuked the blind man and told him to be quiet.  But “he shouted all the more.”  He was persistent, and he wouldn’t be influenced by the crowd.  Then he made his most telling commitment. “Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.”  His cloak was laid out before him to collect money tossed to him by passers-by.  That represented his entire living.  He threw everything he had away to come to Jesus.

Bartimaeus came to Jesus and immediately he received his sight and followed our Lord on the way.  What a good transition to the Way of Holy Week.  Our Lord has prepared us.  He is asking that we lay aside our cloak and follow Him.  Knowing that Calvary is ahead, will we, with Jesus, say “Not my will, but Thine be done”?

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