Friends, in today’s Gospel, we hear the marvelous story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus—an icon of tremendous power and a sacred picture of the spiritual life and the process of salvation. We all find ourselves, in our need of Christ, in this image, as our own blindness distorts our vision of spiritual reality and the meaning of life.
Friends, power and honor, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing, but we wreak havoc when we ask for them in the wrong spirit. When we beseech the Lord with our desires, let us ask for what God wants for us rather than what our egos have determined to be good.
Friends, in our first reading today, Solomon finds that all the power and wealth of the world are nothing compared to the gift of wisdom—seeing life from the perspective of God. Although this gift seems to help one further amass wealth, in today’s Gospel, Christ teaches us that to use the gifts of the world properly, we must give them away so we can follow him.
Friends, our readings this weekend have to do with biblical anthropology—or who we are in the presence of God—and the Christian understanding of marriage. A basic intuition of the Bible is that we begin not with the individual, but with community. And marriage is the most beautiful and intense form of this friendship God desires for us.
Friends, let us rejoice whenever the grace of God is on display. The point of the sacraments is so that God’s grace may flood the world, but the Lord can operate outside of our formal structures. He desires these gifts for us, but as the creator of them, he is never limited by them.
Friends, with our readings from this weekend, we are on very holy ground because we're dealing with the imagery, symbolism, and theology of the suffering servant. Yes, he is the one who will bring God's salvation to all the world, but he will do it by bearing the pain and suffering of the world.
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus travels outside of Israel and heals a man of his deafness. Today, we live in a realm of spiritual deafness. We are bombarded with voices from outside, echoing around us until we are as incapable of hearing as the man from our Gospel. Like him, look to Jesus to heal you so that you might hear the word of God and understand his truth, rather than the lies of the world which surround us.
Friends, the more we revere something, the more we surround it with laws. The most important thing in our lives is to be in harmony with God, and so we follow his divine law. We must, with prudence and wisdom, distinguish between the commandments of God that structure us, and fussy human traditions that distract from our relationship with him.