The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday for the 8th Week of Ordinary Time is Mark 10:46-52. 

On the way to His Passion, Christ taught, prophesied about His death and resurrection and miraculously healed those with incurable illnesses. In a tour de force of miraculous healing, Christ healed a crippled women (skeletal), a man with dropsy (circulatory) and 10 lepers (skin); He now miraculously gives a blind man sight. On the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the same location of His parable, The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-47), Christ offers mercy to an unfortunate on the road. 

The long-suffering blind Bartimaeus, sitting and begging and socially isolated due to his disability,  desperately attempts to find out why the great throngs of people are going by.  Evidentially, the blind man knows of Jesus and perhaps has even waited for Him; the man cries out with some familiarity, “Jesus, Son of David (a first in Mark’s Gospel), have mercy on me.”  The Jews believed that a descendant of King David, the Messiah, would restore the Kingdom of Israel and would also perform signs, like healing the blind (Isa 29:18).  The crowd, enamored and annoyed, tells the man to shut-up; ironically, the man is crying out for mercy and the crowd shows no mercy. The blind man, spiritually moved by the presence of God, shouts even louder with a “blind faith” in Christ.  

In a rebuke and a lesson in mercy to the crowd, Christ stops and commands the crowd to bring the blind man forward. While He knows what the man wants, Christ asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man demonstrates complete faith; addresses Christ as Rabbouni (“my Master”), believes Christ has miraculous healing power and respectfully requests Christ to heal him. With simply a word, Christ restores the man’s sight and tells the man that he is not only physically healed but spiritually healed (the word used for “heal” can also be rendered “saved”). Realizing he has been both healed and saved, the man glorifies God and follows Christ. The man’s miraculous healing and his faith and gratitude to God stirs the previously unmerciful crowd to give praise to God. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of David, Christ recognized by many as the long-awaited Messiah. Divine Physician, Christ has the ability to heal those with devastating disabilities. Divine Mercy, Christ reaches out to those who come to Him in faith in their suffering. Divine Teacher, Christ uses miraculous healings to teach men about faith and mercy. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Medical miracles that occasionally give the blind sight are rare, incredibly complex and very expensive.  Reflect on the truth that Jesus Christ has the power to miraculously heal every one in an instant with just a simple word.  Be awed. 

2) The healed man’s shouts of gratitude not only justly gives God glory for healing but is also spurs others to glorify God; publicly giving God glory for His blessings to you can help lead others to God. Reflect on the importance of Gratitude (CCC 800, 1360, 1418, 2097, 2099, 2215, 2218, 2239, 2251, 2280, 2362) and pray for Christ to give you a grateful heart that draws others to Him. 

3) Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan and the healing of Bartimaeus highlight the emphasis that Christ places on helping the disabled. Review the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy (CCC 2447) and pray for Christ to give you the faith and fortitude to make a substantial difference in the lives of the poor and suffering.