Fortitude is a virtue and fruit of the Holy Spirit. Time and again we hear Jesus utter this word that could sound magical at times. However, if the master ceaselessly comes back to it, it is because He knows how much worrisome life is and the extend of our fear when it comes about facing the challenges of discipleship.
In today’s gospel reading we see correlation between two attitudes: courage and trust. The young man in the gospel faces both human and social challenges. The human challenge is the fact that he is blind. He cannot see. This alone could have knocked him down, and resign from every effort to fight for better life and condition. He would have said, as we very often do, all is over and there is nothing to wish or to hope for. His trust and hope that tomorrow would be somehow better is the key for his courage. The latter is even strengthened when He hears that Jesus is passing by. He screams and cries out. This faith and trust in the saving and healing power of Jesus makes him face every obstacle and rebuke. He persists and perseveres knowing that nothing would stop Him from embracing the Lord, the Healer.
Like Bartimaeus, we face different kinds of obstacles on our life and faith journey. These can be illness, misunderstanding, rebuke, social denial, and so on. These obstacles can at times raise the feeling of discouragement and the desire to throw everything away and give up. We are reminded today that no matter the thickness of the obstacle that prevents us from seeing the light of Christ, if we take up our courage with trust, determination and trust in the Lord, nothing will push us back as to refrain us from experience the love of Christ and his healing power.
Like Bartimaeus, we are called to total trust in Christ. When he hears that Christ is calling him, the young man abandons everything and runs towards the Master. He knows that nothing can hold him once he has found the Lord and source of eternal joy. Sure of our identity as God’s adopted children, we are reminded that it is only with Him that we can find true solace and comfort. Today’s words from the Letter to the Hebrews should always resonate in our ears and hearts when we face any kind of obstacles or challenges in our life journey: “You are my son; today I have begotten you.” Remember that you belong to Him, and He will never give up on you. Like with Bartimaeus, Jesus stops today and calls us to Him. He feeds us with His words and Body to heal us from our blindness. If we listen to Him there will be nothing to worry about. “Take courage; Jesus is calling you,” because you belong to Him.
Let us throw away all that we rely on and embrace only Jesus who will give us true peace, true consolation and full healing. And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.