The Way of Beauty
THEME: Healing of the blind man
FOCUS OF THE MEDITATION: Jesus responds to Bartimaeus' need for heeling—to be able to see. As we meditate, let us appreciate the personal love that Jesus has for all who seek God.
The healing of the blind man
"We do not actually know the name of the blind man, for Bartimaeus means "son of Timaeus." In Jesus' time, all who were infirm in some way were not viewed as important. In an age where children contributed all they could to the family economy, this young man could do very little to help and was likely considered a burden. His blindness kept him on society's fringes, unable to contribute. He was at the world's mercy. Hope for any kind of meaningful existence was slim for this young man."
"On the roadside, at the entrance of the city of Jericho, we are introduced to Bartimaeus, who sits and cries out : Jesus, son of David, have pity on me. Was he waiting for the Lord to come? How did he know to call to Jesus? This resourceful young man did what he could to receive the Lord's touch. Desiring change, he called out to the streets."
"His attentiveness brought the healer's pending arrival."
"Though blind, Bartimaeus could see spiritually what the others could not. He called out to Jesus using the Messianic title, son of David. Stories of Jesus' signs and wonders let this outcast to be a spiritual insider."
"Encountering Jesus makes everything change. Our lives take on new color, new meaning, new power. When the young blind man is led to Jesus' feet he hears the same words Jesus speaks to you today: What do you want me to do for you? Stay with your heart now, asking yourself: What do I need Jesus to do for me? What graces shall I beg from the Lord? Open your heart entirely, trusting Jesus with your desires. God longs to share the riches of the kingdom with you, providing for your needs and desires."
And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae'us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae'us, was sitting by the roadside.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."
And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus.
And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight."
And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
"Bartimaeus was bold with his request to see. He cried out many times before Jesus called him to himself. What would you boldly ask of the Lord today? Spend time now to reflect upon your deep needs, asking Jesus for healing and new sight."
The comments above are taken from Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu. To truly enter into this Visio Divina, I suggest purchasing the book as each masterpiece comes with a complete description, prayer and reflection, and spiritual exercise.