ST JUSTIN, MARTYR (Memorial)
He was born of pagan Greek parents in Samaria around 100AD. He read rhetoric, poetry and history and studied various schools of philosophy. At Ephesus, he was impressed by the steadfastness of the Christian martyrs and converted to Christianity. He opened a school of Christian philosophy and was arrested with the charge of practicing an unauthorised religion. He refused to renounce Christianity and was beheaded along with six of his students one of which was a woman.
First Reading: Sir 42:15-25; Psalm: 33. R. v. 6a; Gospel: Mk 10:46-52
THE BARTIMAEUS’ PRAYER
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
It was another day for his usual business as Bartimaeus sat by the roadside begging for his daily bread. He had no idea that Jesus would be passing his way this very day; although he knew of Jesus and what Jesus was capable of doing. So, it was not as if Bartimaeus knew beforehand and prepared himself for this great encounter. Jesus’ sudden coming was a surprise. When he heard sound of voices of crowds of people and inquired what it was all about; he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Bartimaeus’ reaction was very instructive on how every Christian should pray.
We can summarise Bartimaeus’ reaction in three words: persistence, patience, and letting go. When Bartimaeus called out to Jesus for pity, every attempt by the crowd to shut him up was in vain. Bartimaeus persisted and kept calling on Jesus for mercy. And while he did this, he was not in hurry even though he was desperate to see; but he waited patiently for Jesus to invite him. And when Jesus eventually called on him, he left his cloak and his income for the day behind him and ran towards Jesus; a sign of complete dependence.
Bartimaeus has taught us not to give up hope but wait patiently on God when we pray; and to depend completely on God to take care of our needs. We should resist the temptation of wanting to make things happen ourselves whenever we pray. Patience is a virtue we must learn whenever we call on God. God also sees through our hearts and knows if he had divided attention. We cannot go to God for help while holding unto our past. We must leave our past behind and trust that God will make all things right. For us to see the blessings of today, we need to leave behind the disappointments of yesterday.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may our trust in you never fail when we call upon in prayer. Amen.