If you had the chance of keeping your five senses (touch, taste, hear, see, smell) which one would it be? Why? If you would lose sight, would you not miss the magnificent landscapes, sunsets, sunrises, color of leaves, beautiful natural wonders? What about losing hearing? No more favorite music. And the rest of the list could go on.
For me, it would be vision. Not only would I not be able to see the beauties of nature, but also reading, visiting museums, and the like. This would be depressing. This is probably why I feel a special sadness for Bartimaeus the blind in the Gospel for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. (Mark 10:46-52)
A brief recount of the Gospel. Jesus is leaving Jericho, and by the roadside, Bartimaeus the blind is begging. He hears that it is Jesus passing by. Having heard some things about Jesus, he cries out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” The more others tried to calm him down, the louder was his shout.
Jesus heard him and came and asked what he wanted. He said, “Master, I want to see.” Quite likely Jesus looked at him, paused, and said,”Go your way, your faith has saved you.” Immediately, Bartimaeus’ vision was restored.
Doesn’t it seem strange that there is no touching or praying between Jesus and Bartimaeus as there was in other miracles of healing? What do you think Jesus was trying to convey? I suspect that Jesus wanted to point out the importance of faith. It is Bartimaeus’ faith that was the basis for the miracle. Why is this so important?
Quite likely, I suspect that faith is the basis for our judgements about people. For example. What do I really believe about Jesus? Do I believe what the Gospels say about Jesus? What about the Creed that I recite during Sunday Mass? Do I truly believe what it says about the Holy Trinity?
Also, what do I believe about other people? Do I believe what the book of Genesis say about all of us (Genesis 1:26-27), namely, that all of humanity is created in the image and likeness of God, no matter ethnic origin, place of birth, color of skin, economic status? Our faith is telling us that there is equality among us all.
Bartimaeus was healed because he truly believed in Jesus. Not only did he believe that Jesus could heal him but believed that he would heal him. This miracle was an act of physical healing.
We can be healed from our spiritual blindness if we believe and do what our faith teaches us about Jesus and our fellow human beings. Regarding Jesus, do we believe in what our faith tells us by way of the Bible and official church teaching? Regarding our fellow human beings, do we believe and do what Jesus teaches in the Gospels, namely, treat all others with justice, compassion, understanding, forgiveness. Is there that feeling of equality in our interaction?
In fact, every time that we see again (spiritual insight) in terms of how we see and treat our fellow human beings, it is a miracle of God’s love. This is really “making sense” of our spiritual insight.