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Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Ecclus. 42:15-25 & Mk. 10:46-52

Towards the end of his book of Ecclesiasticus Ben Sira summed up all his considerations on God's wisdom with a long poem praising God for revealing Himself to His creation. He began with a reflection on God's presence in nature, and continued with a recollection of God's work in the history of His people. What better way to conclude his book on wisdom than by praising God's glory - a glory visible in the created world.

As we contemplate God's nature, we come to see that He is a totally loving, forgiving and even enjoyable Being. Yet beyond these characteristics are the attributes that manifest His awesome holiness. These are the attributes Ben Sira recounts in his prayer: God is eternal and self-sufficient; He is wisdom; His very words contain divine power even though we cannot fully fathom all His wonders; He is able to look into the deepest areas of our hearts, He knows everything that is to be known; all His works are endowed with unspeakable splendour and beauty.

Learning these things about God leads us almost instinctively to praise and love Him. We are also humbled, both by His magnificence and by the lengths to which He has gone to manifest His love for us. He even reaches out to those who have not heard of Him by revealing Himself in the beauty and order of the creation that everyone can see.

Praising God for His perfection, order and completeness, as shown in creation, can render us open to the Spirit's help in achieving balance, order and completeness in our own lives. As we experience God's presence and glory, our personalities can be transformed more into Jesus' image: we will want to be with Him more and more. As Ben Sira writes, "Who can have enough of beholding His glory?"

In today's Gospel reading Bartimaeus wanted the attention of Jesus and cried out, "Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me." He wanted something badly enough to keep shouting even when rebuked. Notice, too, his response when Jesus called him. Apparently, he had no doubt that Jesus would do what he asked. Somehow, Bartimaeus knew that Jesus loved him. Like a child, he acted aggressively, confident of that love and in the end, Jesus commended him.

The truth is that Jesus wants each of us to have a similar attitude in terms of faith and to trust unconditionally in His love. Jesus asked Bartimaeus, "What do you want Me to do for you?” and he asks us, too. He wants us to bring Him, not only the 'big' things - our sight, health, marriages and the like - but also the 'little' things that stir us or bother us daily.

Jesus is calling to us right now. He knows our hearts and understands our innermost beings. Let us not be afraid to throw aside everything that hinders us and run to Him full of confidence in His mercy and love. We must be persistent. If we think He doesn’t hear us, we must raise our voice. When our mind tells us to be quiet and not bother Him we must call out all the more.

Jesus wants us to bring the core of our hearts to Him: our hopes and desires, our fears and failures, our wants and needs. Like any loving parent He will give us what He knows is best for us.

Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on us! We know You can heal us. We believe in Your love and in Your power to heal. Come, Lord, and pour out your healing power on us and upon everyone who is calling out to You right now.

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