Sunday, October 25, 2009

Homily / Sermon for 30th Sunday of the Year

Son of David, have pity on me. (Mark 10:50)

It is one of those idle speculations people often make - if you had to do without a particular sense, which one would it be? If the question means which sense do you value the most, then I suppose it has some interest. If the question leads us to realise how valuable our senses are, then I suppose it is a really worthwhile question, because I know that while I would hate to lose the enjoyment of music and speech which deafness would bring, I would just as much feel bereft if I could not read or watch television or just get about with ease. If a question like this makes us admire all the more those who cope with the limitation or are a loss of speech or hearing (rather than just pity them) them all the better.

And of course people sometimes say that if you lose one sense, the others become stronger, or more acute. I’m not convinced by that argument. People use the more and so take more notice of them, but I’m not sure whether they are actually better - you may disagree.

But what I do think is this: that we would be very foolish to underestimate or patronise those who do have disability of one kind of another. People used to assume that the deaf were also stupid. People still ask the person pushing the wheelchair about the passenger, rather than speaking to him or directly.

The crowd underestimated poor old blind Bartimaeus. A blind beggar, because that was the only way to live. To be pitied, for sure, but not to be respected. Don’t shout out blind man. Don’t make a scene, poor beggar. But blind Bartimaeus is bold, because although he cannot see Jesus with his eyes, with his heart he makes an act of faith.
Your faith has saved you, Jesus says. While those around may be inquisitive to see what this man looks like, the blind man, unable to see him loudly worships him - much to the embarrassment of those who think they can see.


For Bidding Prayers, click here

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