Today we hear the Gospel Lesson from the Evangelist Luke Chapter 18 Verses 35-43. It is the story of the blind beggar Bartimaeus, whom Jesus met as He was approaching Jericho.
You see, Bartimaeus heard about Jesus and truly believed in His royal kingship. As Jesus was approaching Bartimaeus took the only opportunity to speak to Jesus personally. Those who were present tried to discourage Bartimaeus in his desire to confront the Lord, but he shouted out, “Son of David, have mercy upon me!” To which the Lord said what do you want me to do for you and Bartimaeus said, “Lord I want to see!” Jesus then healed the man saying, “receive your sight, your faith has healed you.” Immediately he was healed and followed Jesus.
The Fathers of the Church have written that though Bartimaeus was blind, the eyes of his soul were illumined by God’s grace because he had believed what he had heard from others about Jesus. Bartimaeus is held up as an example of earnest and humble prayer, something we all need to adhere to.
Jesus exhorted us throughout his ministry to turn to God for our physical and spiritual needs. In the gospel for the service of Thanksgiving to our patron St. Herman of Alaska from Matthew 7:7-8, we hear the words, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”. We don’t always receive what we ask for, we must leave room for God to act in our lives according to His perfect will for us.
But it is true that God bestows both physical and spiritual healing upon us throughout our lives. God is there to help us in difficult situations and to help us work out our human problems which often take hold of ourselves. God frees us from these burdens and encourages us to pray and never to loose hope. He directs our lives in the paths of righteousness with a renewed spirit and faith, like Bartimaeus, making us whole and perfectly restored.
Thus, as we continue to endure trials and tribulations, uncertainty, and anxiety, we are entreated to pray earnestly and fervently to God to make us well and bring peace to our lives.
May we follow the path that He has set before us and no matter how difficult and remain steadfast in our belief as did the blind beggar. Rejoice and be exceedingly joyful for great is your reward in heaven!