Homily – October 28, 2018

Bartimaeus was a blind groper, sitting by the side of the road. He heard Jesus the wonder worker was passing by. In desperation he calls out ‘Jesus son of David has mercy on me.’ It was a cry that pounced off Jericho’s sycamore trees. People tried to shut him up but he called all the louder, ‘Jesus help me.’ When Jesus asked him how he could help him he begged, ’Lord that I may see again.’

It must be a terrible thing to loose one’s eye sight. To never again see the faces of loved ones. To never again see a sun rise of a sun set. To never again see the splendor of fall colors. It must be a terrible thing to live in the dark. Bartimaeus asked Jesus, ’Lord let me see again.’ “I want to see.” To want sight is to want a capacity which can be used for all kinds of purposes, to see those we love, to see where going when driving a car, to watch TV, to use an i pad. To see is to want the connection with reality that the exercise of sight makes possible.

The first person Bartimaeus saw was Jesus. But Jesus gave Bartimaeus another gift, he gave the gift to see Jesus as more than a miracle worker but also a suffering servant destined to die on the cross. Responding to that gift Bartimeaus followed Jesus along the way as a disciple.

Sight is a wonderful gift, but insight, the ability to see deeper into what we see is a still more wonderful gift.

The first thing we see in the morning is ourselves when we look into the mirror. We usually look pretty awful. But if we are gifted with insight we can see beyond our dishevelled selves and see a person precious to God. We can see a person so loved by God that God sent his son into our world, not to condemn us but to embrace us in God’s love. Gifted with insight we can appreciate our blessings and face our shortcomings.

When we enjoy seeing our fast disappearing fall colors may we all be gifted with the insight beyond the beauty before us and face the truth that by our unbridled human activity we are exploiting, polluting and destroying Earth’s life systems and endangering our very own existence.

I think one of the insights we really need today is the insight to see beyond the toxic rhetoric that’s filling our newscasts night after night. A rhetoric that distorts the way we think about men and women different from ourselves. A rhetoric that makes us suspicious that newcomers to Canada may fail to accept of Canadian values, may fail to fit in, may try impose their ways, their customs on us. This rhetoric that seeks to cover up outright bigotry and intolerance. We all need the insight to see this kind of rhetoric for what it is; an attempt to lure us into believing these good men and women are undeserving of our respect and acceptance. It is basically un-Christian. These men woman and children are our brothers and sisters in our common human family. Remember the words if Jesus who as an infant was a refugee fleeing for his life; I was a stranger and you made me welcome.

May we be gifted with the insight to see God’s deep abiding love for each of us. May we be gifted with the insight to see any and every person who comes into our lives, no matter what their faith, cultural, racial or sexual background as a person precious to God and as a brother or sister worthy or our respect and acceptance. Could our daily prayer go something like, ‘Lord let me see beyond what I see.’?