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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

The Blind Bartimaeus (Modernism Part 12)

Today’s gospel: Mark 10:46-52

Many Catholics today are blind, no longer able to see what is good and just and true. They have been influenced by the culture of the age, and worse, have been led astray by the teaching of some of those in authority in the Church. As such, they no longer see as sin the aspects of the culture of DEATH, such as abortion and LGBT.

Such is modernism, which looks to the physical, material and emotional well-being of man but in the process violates the righteousness of God. It is accepting the sinner but without trying to get him out of his sin. It is looking to the social rather than the spiritual dimension of life.

Now God is concerned about the life of a person both in its social and spiritual dimensions. God wants us whole and integral, living according to His design and will. Thus Jesus cured every physical disease and illness. But even more so, he looked to the salvation of people. He looked to the body without neglecting the soul. He was the Healer but more importantly the Savior.

And so we have the case of the blind Bartimaeus. He asked Jesus to enable him to see. What did Jesus do or say? Rather than just performing a miracle and making his see, “Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.’” (v.52a). And what happened? “Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (v.52b). What was important to Jesus was that Bartimaeus come to faith in him and thus be saved and not just receive his sight. But in being saved, he also received his sight.

This is so different from modernists in our Church who would help people receive their sight but in the process lose their souls. Such would be the case with just accepting, welcoming, embracing and accompanying the grave sinner but not talking of his sin. He feels good on the outside but remains rotten inside. Pastors should hear the cry of the sinner, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” (v.47b). Then they should extend true mercy and not false mercy, which keeps people in their sin.

We need to see the reality not just of physical defects in people and social injustices in the world, but the reality of sin and the need for repentance and turning to Jesus in faith. What is to be addressed is not just the social need, but more importantly the spiritual need. Jesus continues to call out to people, and pastors need to tell sinners, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” (v.49c). How should one then respond? Just like Bartimaeus, “he threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” (v.50).

Do not be deaf but hear the call. Then be no longer blind but see. And be saved.


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