LECTIO DIVINA XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

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Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

30th Sun. in Ord. Time B.

Mk. 10:46-52

A. Invoking the Holy Spirit.

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

          Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God, put in us your flame, enlighten us and raise us up to God. (s. 128, 40)  Amen.

B. Lectio.

With heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

          46 They came to Jericho. And as they were leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. 47 On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage, get up, he is calling you.” 50 He threw aside his cloak, sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 52 Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately, he received his sight and followed him on the way.+

C. Meditatio.

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. Mark.

          In the first place St. Augustine situates the event for us and points out who Bartimaeus was according to the sources that he was using. The Doctor of Hippo points out thus: Without doubt, this Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, formerly in a good position, fell into a very known and famous misery, since he was not only blind, but was also begging seated. It is for this that Mark wanted to mention only this, whose recovery of sight made the miracle so famous as his misfortune was known (con. eu. 2, 125).

          Later, on the healing of the blind man along the road, St. Augustine in a famous sermon, used the contents of St. Mark but follows the outline of St. Matthew (Mt. 20:29-34), for he speaks of two blind men and not of only one as the text of St. Mark.

          Therefore, my brothers, all our efforts in this life must consist in healing the eye of the heart with which to see God. With this end the sacred mysteries are celebrated; with this end the word of God is preached; toward this the moral exhortations of the Church are directed, i.e., those that look towards correcting the customs, towards amending the appetites of the flesh, towards renouncing this world not only by word, but also with a change of life; Towards this purpose are directed all the actuations of the sacred and divine Scriptures in order to purify our interior of what impedes us from contemplating God. Pay attention to the conclusion and the development of the event. Both blind men were seated along the road. While the Lord was passing by they shouted to him to have compassion on them. On their part, the crowd walking with him rebuked them not to shout. And do not think that mentioning this detail lacks significance. With their continuous shout  they overcame the crowd that rebuked them; they overcame in such a way that their voice reached the ears of the Lord: as though he had not yet heard it in his mind! The two blind men then shouted, so that the Lord might hear them and the crowd could not repress them. The Lord was passing by and they were shouting. The Lord stopped and healed them. In fact, the Lord Jesus stopped, called them and said to them: “What do you want me to do for you?” and they answered: “That our eyes be opened.” Seeing their faith the Lord did it; he restored their eyes. If we have already understood who is sick, deaf  or dead interiorly, let us also seek there who is blind interiorly: he has the eyes of his heart closed. Jesus passes by that we may shout. What does it mean that Jesus passes by? That he performs temporal actions. What does it mean that Jesus passes by? That he performs transitory actions. Pay attention and see how many of his works have passed by. He was born of the Virgin Mary, is he perhaps always being born? As an infant he was breast fed, is he perhaps always fed at the breast? He passed the different ages until his youth, is he perhaps always growing physically? To his infancy followed his childhood, to childhood followed adolescence, to adolescence –transitory and perishable- followed his youth. Even the miracles he performed passed away; we read them and we believe. In fact, they were written that they may be read, they passed away as soon as they were performed. Finally, so as not to delay me more, he was crucified: does he perhaps always hang from the cross? He was buried, he arose, he ascended into heaven; he no longer dies and death has no more power over him. As his divinity always remains forever, so too his corporeal immortality will never end. Nevertheless, all that he did in time passed away, and it was written to be read, and to be preached in order to be believed. Therefore, in all these events Jesus passes by (….) But in performing transitory works, i.e., in humbling himself, in becoming obedient until death and death on the cross, the two blind men shouted: Have pity on us, Son of David (….) Until the end of the world blind men seated by the road side will not be absent. It is necessary that those who are seated by the roadside shout. The crowd that accompany the Lord drown the  cry of those who seek health. Brothers, do you understand what I am telling you? For I do not know how to say it, but much less do I know how to keep silent. This is what I say and I say it openly: I fear Jesus when he passes by and when he stays and that is why I cannot keep silent. The good Christians , who are truly enthusiastic and desirous to fulfill the precepts of God written in the Gospel, feel impeded by bad and lukewarm Christians. The crowd itself that accompany  the Lord prevent them from shouting, i.e., prevent them from doing good lest by their perseverance they be cured. Let them shout, let them not get tired, let them not be dragged by the pressure of the crowd, let them not imitate even those who had been Christians ahead of them and yet who live like the wicked and esteem them badly because of their good works. Let them not say: “Let us live as the great multitude lives.” Why not live as the Gospel commands? Why do you like to adjust your life to the rebuke of the crowd that impedes you to shout, and not to the footsteps of the Lord who passes by? They will insult you, they will revile you, they will invite you to move backwards; but you shout until it reaches the ears of Jesus. Because who are constant in doing what Christ commanded, without paying attention to the many who prevent it, and give no much value to the fact that these seem to follow Jesus –i.e.,-that they are called Christians-, except those who have more love for the light that Christ would give back to them, than fear of the noise of those who prevent him to shout, in some way will find themselves separated from Jesus: not only will he stop, but will also heal them (s.88, 5. 8. 11. 13).+

D. Oratio.

With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and questions that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

a. “All our effort in this life must consist in healing the eye of the heart with which to see God” (s. 88, 5).

  • What is it that impeded the eye of your heart to see?
  • How can you know that the eye of your heart is healthy?

b. “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! The crowd rebuked him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the more” (Mk. 10:47-48).

  • How do the words, the criticisms and the opinion of people around you influence your life of faith?
  • What do you need to be more constant in you Christian life?

E. Contemplatio.

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again you need not follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

a. Contemplate the blind man Bartimaeus seated along the road and how upon knowing that it was Jesus who was passing by, began to shout.  Contemplate how the crowd that accompanies Jesus tells him to be silent, but how he shouts all the more. Contemplate how Jesus calls him and cures him. Contemplate his happiness and how gratefully he follows Jesus. Contemplate, reflect and love.

b. Identify yourself with the blind man. Reflect on your own spiritual blindness, how in some occasions you allowed yourself to be influenced by the opinion and the judgments of those around you. Contemplate how, like the blind Bartimaeus, upon knowing that it was Jesus passing by, you invoke him with your heart. Contemplate how Christ stops, heals you, and restores your interior vision. Contemplate, love and be grateful.

F. Communicatio.

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially as regards recognizing your own blindness, coming to Christ and not allowing yourself to be discouraged by people around you. The following points can help you share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on the text.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my dominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

Final Prayer of St. Augustine.

Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that you deign to hear our petitions according to your goodwill, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions, that you increase our faith, govern our mind and give us spiritual thoughts and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en. Ps. 150:8).

“The Christian who lives a bad life is certainly found in the light of God, but with eyes closed, because living badly he does not like to see God, and finding himself in the midst of the name ‘Christian’  he is like a blind man, situated in the light, but deprived of vision from the true light” (en. Ps. 25: 2, 14).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2021 >
November 28 - December 04
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