Gospel Mk 10:46-52
“What do you want me to do for you?”
So often our conception of God regresses to something rather childish – we think of God as little more than some kind of mystical Father Christmas figure, who, when we remember to pray, receives little more than a list of things that we wish for. Often this sets us up for disappointment, and eventually we cease praying.
Here we have something of a model to follow. The son of Timaeus is firstly aware of his situation. He is a beggar, and the lack that he suffers is foremost in his mind.
At the news of Jesus’ passing by he is relentless in seeking his attention and pleading for his mercy. This is where we need to position ourselves – in humble acknowledgement of our need before God, acknowledging his greatness and crying out for his mercy.
Bartimaeus’ example continues. When he comes before the Lord he is not shy or embarrassed. He does not hide his needs in the face of the Lord’s greatness. “Rabbi, I want to see.”
How often do we let moments of grace such as this pass us by, refusing to acknowledge our need before God, thinking to myself instead that I will sort myself out first, and then present myself to God with a list of all that I have accomplished on my own.
This fails the test of reality because truly we cannot do much at all under our own steam – all is grace. All has been given freely to us, and our natural desire for infinite happiness remains stifled if we do not open ourselves, as did Bartimaeus to the grace that Jesus came to freely give.
Do I seek out Jesus and offer him all that I am?
Am I open, bringing to God my faults and failings and asking for his mercy in the midst of my need, or do I hide my needs and my faults thinking that I can sort it out on my own?
Am I willing to accept the grace of God to work in my life, even through my shortcomings?