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Arise and Shine (Mark 10:46-52)

Pity is a word we don’t enjoy hearing, and it’s definitely not something we seek. We say phrases like, “Don’t pity me!” or “Don’t look down on me!” when we feel ashamed or self-conscious. We have “pity parties” when life just isn’t going our way. Simply put: Pity is often characterized as a shameful, ugly thing.

For a man like Bartimaeus, pity was something he was used to. He was no stranger to begging like a homeless man on the streets of Jericho. And it is likely many passed him by with disgust for all that he didn’t have. Yet, even though Bartimaeus’ vision was gone, he still had his sense of smell, hearing, and touch. He may not have been able to read the Torah, but most likely memorized it as he heard it proclaimed, sitting outside the walls of the synagogue. He heard the stories of Jesus with a keen ear. So when the dust covered his face from the crowd kicking up dirt on the road, and the smell of sweat and adrenaline began to become recognizable, Bartimaeus must’ve known Jesus was approaching. So he cried out with a confident voice, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

But, Bartimaeus wasn’t yelling at Christ to pity him the way we might pity a destitute man or woman on the side of a freeway exit. No, he was looking for something radically different. He was pleading for Christ’s compassion and mercy from a lifetime of suffering and blindness. He was begging for Christ to stop and look at him, for Jesus to notice him and heal him!

This is exactly the cry the Lord wants to hear from us: “Have mercy on me, a sinner!” Only then can our Father in Heaven ask us, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:47)

For Bartimaeus, he wanted to see. Can you imagine opening your eyes for the first time and gazing into the eyes of Christ’s, full of deep love? This love spoke to the depths of Bartimaeus’ soul and must have overwhelmed him beyond words. Those are the same eyes that want to stare deeply into yours. To know what you want from Him. Not as you would want the superficial things of this world, but rather, what you want from the depths of your soul. He is asking, “At your very core, what do you want me to do for you?”

Pope Francis wrote in Misericordiae Vultus, “Human beings, whenever they judge, look no farther than the surface, whereas the Father looks into the very depths of the soul.” He wants to put a balm of mercy on the sufferings you experience. On the cross, He showed the deep compassion and understanding that not only does He know the suffering you experience, but He also died so that you might not suffer in vain. He longs to heal you. He is ready to reach out to you with compassion and mercy but needs you to come to Him, to call out to Him.

Do not grow weary in asking our Father for what you need.

What do you want Christ to do for you? He’s waiting for you to call out to Him.

 

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About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.

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