Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The gospel reminds us that our blindness (fill in whatever makes you limp) is the source of our greatest blessing. If Bartimaeus could see, he would never have called out to Christ. If your upbringing or your life was perfect, you would not be looking for him. God uses that difficulty to lead us to him. His blindness, his misery, (or you could say your loneliness, or your anger, or your inability to forgive) makes him bolder, and gives him a deeper spiritual life. His ‘inner vision’ is excellent. He knows who he is. The irony is Bartimaeus can see, and the others are in the dark.
First, Bartimaeus hears Christ coming; then he saw ‘interiorly’ and began to call out, and was cured. Faith comes from hearing, from listening to the preaching. He makes a racket and they tell him to shut up, and he keeps calling out. It seems that Jesus passes him and then stops and says, call him. And Bartimaeus does something significant. He threw aside his cloak, which doubles as his bed and his coat, and threw himself into the hands of Jesus. He gets rid of his dependence on anything else and went to the one who could save him.
Bartimaeus shows us something very important: how to pray. Prayer is to call out with all our strength, and to ask Jesus to stop and save us. Why do we not pray this way? We ask very weakly and feebly and then we give up! Praying changing us, or it should. Prayer is not to change the mind of God, but to help you see that his plan for you is wonderful!
To ‘see’ and to ‘follow’ are one and the same thing. Once we encounter Jesus, when we really see who he is and what he does for us, we cannot remain the same. At the end of the gospel, we are only told that Bartimaeus followed Christ on the way. I imagine he did this for the rest of his life. When I saw the emptiness of my life at twenty-two years of age, and the zeal of others, I followed Christ. My life has never been the same. Cry out to the Lord in your blindness, and, for sure, he will answer you.