Jan 01
Bartimaeus’ faith is evident from his prayer. It is not a timid and standard prayer. First and foremost, he calls the Lord “Son of David”: that is, he acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah, the King who would come into the world. Then he calls Him by name, confidently; “Jesus”. He is not afraid of Him, he does not stay at a distance. (…) He says what is essential and entrusts himself to God’s love which can make his life flourish again by doing what is humanly impossible. This is why he does not ask the Lord for alms, but makes everything be seen — his blindness and his suffering which was far more than not being able to see. His blindness was the tip of the iceberg ; but there must have been wounds, humiliations, broken dreams, mistakes, remorse in his heart. He prayed with his heart. And what about us? When we ask for God’s grace, do we also include in our prayer our own history, our wounds, our humiliations, our broken dreams, our mistakes and our regrets?

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” Let us, too, recite this prayer today. Let us repeat it and ask ourselves: “What is my prayer like”? Let each of us ask ourselves: “What is my prayer like”? Is it courageous, does it contain the good insistence of Bartimaeus, does it know how to “take hold” of the Lord as he passes, or is it rather content with making a formal greeting every now and then, when I remember? Those lukewarm prayers that do not help at all. Furthermore, is my prayer “substantial”, does it bare my heart before the Lord? Do I take my story and life experience to him? Or is it anaemic, superficial, made up of rituals, without feeling and without heart? When faith is alive, prayer is heartfelt: it does not beg for spare change, it is not reduced to the needs of the moment. We must ask everything of Jesus, who can do everything. Do not forget this. We must ask everything of Jesus, with my insistence before Him. He cannot wait to pour out his grace and joy into our hearts; but unfortunately, it is we who keep our distance, through timidness, laziness or unbelief. (Angelus, 24 October 2021)