THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B.
24th October 2021.
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52.
Today in the gospel, Jesus exposed our indifference through the healing of Bartimaeus the blind beggar. The virus of indifference which characterise our world has left some of us at the peripheries of existence. The conspiracy of the rich and privileged has pushed the poor and the under privileged of our world to the peripheries of society. In the gospel, Bartimaeus the blind man was sitting at the road side by the outskirts of Jericho, in complete desolation and hopelessness. When he heard that Jesus was passing by, he shouted towards him for help, but the crowd scolded him and told him to keep quiet. This is typical of life at the margins of society. According to Pope Francis, the virus of indifference is the result of constantly looking away, telling ourselves that because there is no immediate or magic solution, it is better not to feel anything. The periphery is a place of discouragement, intimidation, extortion, hunger, homelessness, destitution, and poverty.
In the first reading, the Lord promised to bring back the remnant of Israel. The Lord said; ‘See, I will bring them back from the land of the North and gather them from the far ends of earth; all of them: the blind and the lame, women with child, women in labour: a great company returning here’. We are called to bring the gospel of salvation to the marginalised at the peripheries of society as Jesus did to Bartimaeus in the gospel, by becoming a welcoming and caring parish. Armed with the gospel, we will possess the insight on how to seek out the peripheries around us. Just as Jesus opened the eyes of Bartimaeus at the borders of Jericho, the gospel is capable of leading us in the same manner to the corners where our indifference had hidden the under privileged of society.
The church has a mission to bring the Good News to the peripheries. According to Pope Francis; ‘We are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment’. Therefore, let us not turn down any opportunity to assisting those in need through the SVP, CAFOD, and CARITAS.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.