Sunday 30 (Year B) – Mark 10:46-52

It was a hot day. There was barely any breeze blowing to provide any relief to the heat of the valley; just enough to carry the insistent smell of sand and the salt from the Dead Sea just a few miles away. Which meant it was pretty much like any other day. And just like any other day, as I waited here at the gate of the city, catching my breath after a morning spent in the market, my peace and quiet was – once again – interrupted by that flaming beggar. He was always there.

He was always annoying. Like so many other beggars. I knew his father; unlike this one, his father Timeaus was a good man. Who knows what he would have thought of his son ending up like this, sitting there on that flaming cloak – begging. Everything changed for Bar-Timeaus after the accident that left him blind. Actually he was an ok kind of kid. But now, oh now – he is just a right pain. And what’s this? Just when I’m finding a way to filter out his cries, he starts getting louder! Oh I see why. Or I hear why – there’s a crowd of people coming, and he sees a chance to earn a coin or two to put some bread on the table tonight. His voice is so annoying! Oh man, now he’s started to actually shout. But who’s he calling to? What’s he on about then? He’s addressing someone in the crowd – he’s calling him the ‘Son of David’ of all things!? Doesn’t he know that’s the title for the Messiah? Doesn’t he know that he’s calling after the King himself?

There’s no one who looks like a king in this crowd. Just a bunch of ruffians. Oh wait – there’s someone there – the people seem to be pressing in around him and crowding around him. But he looks just like a Rabbi or something. No one special. Not a king certainly. There’s a name on so many lips – almost like a chant. Jesus – Jesus of Nazareth. Now Bartimeaus has taken up the name – and he is shouting this name – and he’s shouting and crying … for mercy. What does he think this is?

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Recorded at Sacred Heart 9.30am (13’36”).