Weekly Homilies

Sometimes All We Want Is To Be Seen (Mark 10: 46-52)

October 24, 2021 Fr. Mark Suslenko Season 4 Episode 35
Sometimes All We Want Is To Be Seen (Mark 10: 46-52)
Weekly Homilies

Hi everyone, and welcome to Weekly Homilies with Father Mark Suslenko, Pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. We are part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. I'm Carol Vassar, parish director of communications, and you're listening to Season 4, Episode 35 for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time:  October 24, 2021.  Our Gospel reading is from Mark, Chapter 10, verses 46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 

But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, "Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 

Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"  The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."  Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."  Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

The Gospel of the Lord

“Sometimes, All We Want Is To Be Seen,” by Father Mark S. Suslenko, Pastor, SS. Isidore and Maria Parish, Glastonbury, Connecticut

Sometimes, all we want is to be seen. Sometimes all we want is to be seen. It's very easy in our increasingly complicated world to get lost, to go unnoticed, to lose our true identity. People relate to us as a number, a password, or a code. To the extent to which I can find my way through that increasingly complicated life is the degree to which I can negotiate and find value.

The world can easily take away the true purpose and meaning of what it means to be a human being. We're viewed, quite often, in terms of our productivity. Age is seen as a negative. We find ourselves lost at times, and we wonder if anyone really cares about who I am.

The world can easily convince us that it has the power to determine the value of human life. That is as long as we're able to be productive and find our way, be successful, our life has value. If we're broken, vulnerable ,or less whole, then our value decreases as well. Conversations, especially with those who are aging, find them facing a great level of anxiety. Who will take care of me? If I advance in age, will I be wanted any longer?

We can sometimes view human life as a liability rather than a blessing. And so if we immerse ourselves in the vision of the world, in a secular vision, then our understanding of life is going to be blinded, clouded, and veiled in darkness. We're going to be limited in terms of what we can see, of how we understand ourselves, and who we ultimately are.

Sometimes, all we want is to be noticed. Inwardly, we know and we want to have value. Inwardly, we know that there's more to life than just what we see. 

Bartimaeus was one of those folks whose life wasn't seen as useful. He simply was cast aside, discarded. He was seen as one to push aside, to trample over, who had no merit. In the midst of this crowd of people, Bartimaeus, like you and I sometimes, found himself quite lost, invisible. But he knew that someone who intrigued him, someone he wanted to meet, was passing along the way. Also a part of this huge crowd of people, and this person of interest is Jesus, son of David. Jesus could  easily gone and overlooked Bartimaeus. But Bartieaeus, all he wanted to do was be seen. And so he screams out "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me. Jesus, son of  David, I'm over here, see me. Jesus, son of David, come to me."

And Jesus who could have easily missed him ,or ignored him, listened to his plea and came to him, and there was a compassionate meeting of friends. Jesus noticed him. And in noticing Bartimaeus, Bartimaeus' life was changed.

In our own worlds, we can easily fall victim to the ideals of the world, to secular images and understandings. Sometimes without knowing it, we can find ourselves feeling very unimportant, as if our lives can truly be just set aside; that in the sight of the world, I don't matter, and that my needs go unnoticed.

Sometimes our human relationships that we see as the source of our edification, as a source of comfort, fail us, and they don't always have the power to produce what we need them to produce. They simply aren't enough. 

So where do we go for a true understanding of who we are? You and I, who are entangled in this secular world that can bring us so many blessings but can also bring us many stumbling blocks, can find ourselves going through life and journeying through life with this limited understanding of who we are; with this blindness; with this darkness that doesn't illuminate the truth of humanity, of its sacredness, of its specialness, of its importance.

And so we are intrigued by Jesus who comes along our way. Intrigued by what we hear in the Gospel, that there is much more to this world, to the kingdom of God, than what we fashion and create for ourselves.  In doing so, we reach out to Jesus and as Bartimaeus did, say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me. My life is broken. I can't put the pages together myself. I can't make the dots connect. I need your understanding of who I am to enlighten me, to help me, to assist me, to give me my true purpose and meaning, to tell me that my life is not unimportant, but is an intentional gift that has been fashioned and made and put together by you, my God. And that I have value and a goal that's beyond what the world wants to convince me of. That life is sacred at all points, from the time you, God, create it in our mothers' wombs to the time that we finally leave this earth to be with you forever in eternity. That whether we are whole or a broken, weak or strong, our inner soul gives us life and light and sacredness and dignity. That whether  I have yet to breathe my first breath in this life, or I've been journeying through this existence for 125 years, at every point, along that way, life matters. I have value. I'm important, and it cannot be taken away." 

When we have this understanding of who we are, it brings a depth of vision. It makes us discover life and it sets us on the proper course of where God really wants and needs us to be, just like it did with Bartimaeus. When he allowed Jesus to touch him, his life changed. He gained sight. We, too, when we allow God to enlighten our steps, when we allow God to be our vision, our source of strength of purpose and meaning life changes for us too. Because we begin to realize that, in all of the things that we can accomplish here on earth, nothing human is ever going to really satisfy those deepest longings of our heart; no relationship, no accomplishment, no journey, no adventure; nothing. 

There's a wonderful quote that's attributed to St. Augustine, although I don't think he actually verbalized it himself, but it does capture his spirituality. It goes like this. "To fall in love with God is the greatest romance. To seek God is the greatest adventure. To find God is the greatest human achievement." 

And so for all of the loves in our life that we can ever encounter as a human being, to truly reach out in a desire to love God and to ,wrestle with that relationship, to fall in love with God, and to see God is the source of my life and my love, of my being, of every part of my life is truly a wonderful love to fall into because it gives life like none other, and gives us direction and purpose like nothing else can ever provide. And to seek that God, even through the mystery and all the wonders of life and creation and our relationships with one another in the traditions and all that is a part of our faith truly sets us on an adventure because God is never exhaustible. He's always revealing himself in new and spectacular ways. And if we're attuned to that, then life takes on a sparkle and a depth of meaning. And then when we stumbled upon God's presence, when we actually find him in my brothers and sisters, in creation, in the world, we realize that is where we need to be, and that we've accomplished something that the world simply cannot provide for us. We've discovered a depth of meaning that no human thing can provide because in the end union with God is the goal of our life. When we reach out and we realize that we're not solely responsible for our own happiness, and we say, "Jesus, son of David have pity on us, have pity on me. I've made mistakes. I haven't understood things in the way that I can understand, that I don't see as I ought to see. I don't see you as I want to see. I don't understand myself. Have pity on me and change and reflect how I view myself." 

That then changes up the whole picture. We realize that this journey upon which we travel is a journey to God, and that is where we need to be. That is where we need to. 

And so as we continue our way through the world this week, perhaps we can ask for God's intervention to restore our site, to give us a depth of understanding that we ourselves cannot provide. .

Father Mark Suslenko  is the pastor of SS. Isidore and Maria Parish in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Learn more about our parish community www.isidoreandmaria.org. And follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Our music comes free of charge from Blue Dot Sessions in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’m Carol Vassar. Thanks for joining us.