Thursday, May 26, 2016

Can You Throw Off Your Cloak?

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight (Mark 10:46-52)
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
     I have to say this scripture is one of my very favorites. Mainly because I had a conversion experience while reflecting on it two years ago during my 19th annotation retreat. One of the things I focused on was his cloak, as a beggar, it most likely was his only possession. It was his shelter, his bed, his comfort. So when the disciples went to him and said Jesus is calling you he leaped up and threw aside his cloak, his everything, to go to Jesus. The cloak can be something different for you and for me I reflected, what is it that I need to cast off to follow Jesus? What is it that I ask of Him? This morning however Father Dan gave an even further reflection. He shared the fact that he has several friends that are blind, and their houses are in perfect order so they can find things. Bartimaeus threw off his cloak, he didn't place it down or fold it next to him. This simple action reveals his faith in Jesus, throwing the cloak, knowing he would not be able to find it in his blindness. He tossed it in faith, in belief, in healing. A beautiful new take on an already favorite story. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Living in the Truth


     So Father Dan's homily today about being in the world but not of the world really struck a chord with me. He explained that he is also in the world... trying not to be of the world. When he reads newspaper articles or things online he feels well that's not really the world that I'm living in and there is a bit of discomfort there. This to me was so comforting because I also thought I do feel that awkwardness and uncomfortable feeling sometimes when I read about the crazy things going on in the world and think ..what world are we living in? So it made me think of the Gospel today. John writes that Jesus shared a prayer to his apostles to the Father. "Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world." The visual I got from this was to have one foot in this world and one foot in another... in the Kingdom. When we have one foot in one world and one foot somewhere else we are unstable, struggling, straddling. There is an awkwardness that has us off balance. But when we lean on one foot, leaning into God and the promise of the Kingdom , pressing into his world, we make that choice to press into Him and His word and we stabilize. Now it's not to say we don't wrestle back and forth, because Lord knows I do, but I think it is a great reminder today, with Pentecost coming, knowing that we are full of the Holy Spirit that we will always have with us. That spirit that guards against the enemy, the one ready to devour us at any moment. "I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world." It is a delicate balance trying to live in the world but not be of the world, but leaning into the Word will give us the truth.