Homily Thirtieth Sunday Year B Spiritual insight into the person of Jesus

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Homily: Thirtieth Sunday Year B

Reading 1: The prophet Jeremiah is in exile with the people. He sees the dejection of the people who now recognize that their chastisement is the result of their sins and the sins of their leaders against God.

Jeremiah tells the people a word of hope. He indicates what is about to come and how they are to respond and why was it to happen. What was to come? God would deliver them from exile and return them to the Promised Land. “I will bring them back from the land of the north.”

How were they to respond to what God was about to do? Be joyful; even though your ancestors departed Israel in tears, God will console his people in their return. Why was God doing all this? “I am a father to Israel.”

How do we apply this to us today? Jesus delivered us from the bondage of sin once for all. That grace is ever present to us when we fall again and again. All we have to do is repent and return to the Lord. Why does he so love us? Because we are his, our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier.

What should our response be? Not only praise and gratitude, but a firm decision to remain faithful to our Father, God. What is the reality in my life? What has been our past history? What should be our reality now?

Reading 2: The Son was called by the Father to be the Priest and Victim for our sake. He did this by embracing death on the cross. As Priest he offered his life for our life. As Victim he sacrificed his life that we may have life. Though sinless, he took upon himself the consequences of sin. He chose freely to do the will of the Father out of love of the Father and love of us.

He did this to glorify the Father. “It was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: You are my son.”

Gospel: When Jesus predicted for the second time his upcoming passion and death, the apostles were too blind to see and embrace the truth before them. That was last Sunday’s Gospel. Today, a man recognized his physical blindness but he had spiritual insight. He believed that Jesus could heal him and would heal him. He professed Jesus as the Son of David, the Messiah. He remained resolute in spite of the negative reactions of the crowd.

He trusted in the word of Jesus, “what do you want me to do for you?” His faith, his acceptance and his trust opened him to the healing he desired. His spiritual insight lead to his physical commitment to Jesus. He followed him; he became his disciple. He didn’t receive the gift of sight and walked away. He just couldn’t be the same after as before. This would be a sign of ingratitude.

What a contrast with the Apostles. They could see the signs and wonders. They could say the right words but could not believe that Jesus as Messiah had to suffer and die for our sins. Their blindness remained until the Resurrection.

What is our blindness to Jesus, who he really is? What is the block in our heart? What is the fear which keeps us away from totally trusting in him? What are we unwilling to let go? Bartimaeus was willing to let go his cloak and his identity in the eyes of others in order to come to Jesus.

To be touched by Jesus means that one becomes more committed to him. To be more committed means we become more aware of other areas of spiritual blindness and we cry out to be healed.

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