Sunday, 25 October 2009
Let me see again.
Homily for Last Sunday after Pentecost Year B. 25 Oct. 09 Parish Mass St. Arvans.
Blind Bartimaeus. Mark.10.v 46-52
For some of us even when we think we can see well, that we know what things look like, that everything is unchanging………in fact for many of us we can be blind, seeing dimly and inaccurately how our lives are actually being lived. We can be blind to how weak our faith in God has become. How far astray our vision of life can be from what God wills for us both personally and corporately in the Church. A large part of our search for truth, enlightenment and understanding can be distorted by an unthinking, unspiritual and often uncaring sort of blindness that can creep up on us if we are not careful. This is normal because we are not perfect beings, we do get blinded to what are the most important things in life. This should therefore make me more attentive to this possibility and to refine my spiritual, sacramental and prayer life regularly, to keep the eyes of my faith more open. Perhaps we can share together for a short time how we might…..
- See Jesus more clearly, love Him more dearly and follow Him more nearly.
- See Him more clearly in our own lives and together each week as we share in the one perfect and sufficient sacrifice that Jesus made once for all time and which we re-present at this altar every time we celebrate Mass.
- See and share in our Saviour’s love for us at the Eucharist sacramentally and in living and hearing His Word and by following His teaching in the Gospels which we study together each week.
Consider for a moment that each of our lives of faith is like a great original painting. I don’t know what your favourites are but mine at the moment include those by Caravaggio and Fillippo Lippi. Now no original painting is exactly the same , just as each of us is utterly unique. Our lives of faith may start as a completely blank canvas, then move on as an inspirational spark of an idea formulates. We begin to sketch; there are trial runs; some discarding and editing takes place. Then comes the first strokes of the brush….. an outline of faith appears through the grace of God. The subject and content begin to be indelibly put down, then the instruments and laws of perspective, form, light and colour are adhered to. Just as the unalterables of Creeds, great Councils of the Church, commandments of The Lord and teachings of His Word should remain the unalterables of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith. These are the tools and brushes and paints of Holy Church. These laws are defining principles of the painting but always interpreted through the creative love, personality and faith of the artist. Guided through prayer and sacrament the canvas comes to life, it breathes the soul of the artist. Faith blossoms and flourishes like this canvas if it is constantly fed with the palate of prayers and witness of the saints, and those of the church father’s teaching us to be the artists of our own lives under His direction.We have the chance during this short period of painting the picture, living our lives, to either create something worthwhile, something that will endure, something of beauty, of lasting witness to those around us as well as within us and to the glory of God...or not. Sometimes it will only be a small part of the canvas of life that will be beautiful and creative. Sometimes the painting may fail. Many times they remain unfinished…let it not be so with us.
Our challenge, our joy is to take up this palate, create that painting of faith subject to these laws. Develop it and live it out loud, in an exhibition which can sometimes be all too short.
Leaving that analogy on one side for a moment, let us consider the questions raised in Mark’s gospel…….
HOW do I keep the eyes of my faith open?
HOW can I see Jesus?
Regard the blind beggar for a moment. A person that Jesus hears and loves, just as he hears and loves everyone, whatever their condition.
IF I CALL OUT ‘’Jesus Son of David have mercy on me’’….. will He hear me?....will he hear you?...
IF I OPEN my ears to hear, will I hear those around me and the words in front of me say to me personally “ Take heart get up He is calling you”
Will I, will you, will we together hear Jesus’ words to us personally. “ Go your faith has made you well”…?
It will depend on many things won’t it? I will have all the imperfections that every sinning member of the human race has , for none are perfect. I may get bogged down with the minutiae of life. I may suffer in the blindness that distorts my life and hinders me in God’s plan for me. But if I, if you, if we together ask Jesus like Bartimaeus…. “Let me see again” our canvas of faith may yet become a truly living faith; a picture of great beauty and meaning.
Those words of our Lord “Go your faith has made you well could echo in our ears, not just as we kneel to receive Him in the real presence of His body at the altar today. These words could become like our favourite painting. Visible, tangible, real, comforting and joyful. Leading us across the landscape, the seascape the subject matter through the canvas and beyond to where there is a Divine homecoming…joy…clear sight.... and peace…
May we like St. Paul and Bartimaeus experience new sight as the scales of doubt fall from our eyes so that we can glimpse The Lord’s glory here, now, today and into eternity……… Amen