Confessions…be they of faith, wrongdoings, repentance, or belief, are not easy, be they public or private, let alone grave or even frivolous. So, on “let out” day, Friday 22 October in Victoria, the downside of the gates being opened was to announce to the congregation, 30 persons, all double vaccinated, that I, the celebrant, was, as required by decree, double vaccinated! That certainly was not in the faculty sheet upon Ordination. I did not feel quite like Bartimaeus.
What with all the commentary emerging from many sources from the first session of the Plenary Council, the huffing and puffings of government agencies trying to rejoice that the lockdown was being lifted, the conflicting news about the “washed and unwashed” (we are a welcoming church), and the media sensationalism about having a beer at midnight…blind Bartimaeus’ cry “Master, let me see again” is a dash of realism. “Let me see again.”
All was not clear or peaceful in the throng; disciples, and a large crowd that left Jericho with Jesus. We have had in recent weeks the wrangling over places at the table, the sadness of Jesus as the young man took off (his riches won the battle on that occasion), and the “What’s in it for us?” from Peter. Jesus must have been wringing his hands and wondering, “Why me? Is this all I have going for me after all the miracles, example and words?” And, overriding it all was the false hope circulating that he, Jesus, would be the leader of the revolution! Rome would be no more. He was the revolution of course, but not on their terms or in their understanding. “Master, let me see again” was a summary of Jesus’ presence. To see the Father is our hope, and to follow the Way, Truth and Life is our Journey.
The restoration of his physical sight was important for Bartimaeus but his insight into the real person of Jesus (Son of David) was more important, for him and us.
Bartimaeus, lead us to Jesus!