John Connelly


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 25, 2015
Jeremiah 31.7-9 | Psalm 126 | Hebrews 5.1-6 Mark 10.46-52
October 12, 2015

We all have a profound need for the mercy of Jesus in our lives.

The human heart can never be fully awakened unless we encounter his mercy in a personal way.

In this week's Gospel we read:

"As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizeable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me."  (Mark 10.46-52)

This blind man crying out to Jesus for mercy is a rich image for all of us today.

Go; Your faith has made you well. -Mark 10.52

'Go; Your faith has made you well.'

Mark 10.52

Our modern world is blind in so many ways. We are stumbling in the darkness. Corruption and propaganda are spread daily through the ever-present media.

Lies are sold as truth. People are lost in a maze of confusion.

But one thing is certain. If anyone cries out to Jesus for mercy he will begin to open their spiritual eyes. He alone can help us to see with the authentic eyes of truth and love.

Pope Francis is offering an invitation to the world to see the face of Gods mercy in the world today. He says . . .

"At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father's action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy."

This upcoming Year of Mercy is a chance for every human being to experience the grace, forgiveness, and love of Jesus in a deeper way. It is an opportunity for every one of us to cry out like the blind man Bartimaeus, "Jesus, have mercy on me."

I remember the day I was in the mountains of Northern California at a New Age retreat centre. I had drifted from the Church and was seeking my own path. I happened to come upon a copy of the spiritual classid The Way of a Pilgrim. It is about a pilgrim who learns the Jesus prayer and experiences the mercy of Jesus in a profound way.

I was moved and inspired. I began to pray the classic Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me," and I had an encounter with Jesus. His love and mercy led me back to the Mass and back to the Church. I see in my experience the "face of Mercy" that Pope Francis is calling us to reflect upon in this upcoming Jubilee year.

My eyes were opened. I saw who Jesus is. Not just another teacher or leader, but the living Son of God. The saviour of all mankind. The light of mercy and love in a dark world.

So perhaps in this Jubilee Year of Mercy we can all cry out for mercy in a deeper way. Perhaps we can all cry out again and again for ourselves, our families, our parishes, and our world, Jesus have mercy on us all. Then all of us, like the blind man Bartimaeus, will behold the true face of God, the face of Our Father's mercy in our Lord Jesus Christ.