30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Mercy to Give
(Adults, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
Wherever Jesus and his friends go, people follow. They want to see Jesus. They want to know him, and be close to him. In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear about someone who wants to see Jesus but he cannot.
As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
Bartimaeus cannot see Jesus. Why?
Jesus is standing up, walking by, but Bartimaeus is sitting down by the side of the road. Is that why Bartimaeus cannot see Jesus?
There are so many people all around Jesus, walking with him. Is that why Bartimaeus cannot see Jesus?
Sitting by the side of the road while so many people move around would make it difficult for anyone to see Jesus! But that is not Bartimaeus' problem.
Bartimaeus cannot see Jesus because he is blind. His eyes do not work properly; he cannot see the way he used to.
He cannot see, but Bartimaeus can hear.
When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus knows something about Jesus. He calls him "Son of David." That is strange. David is not the name of Jesus' father. But David was a great king. Maybe Bartimaeus thinks that Jesus is a king, too.
Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The people in the crowd do not like Bartimaeus shouting. Why?
Maybe they do not think Jesus is a king.
Or maybe they think he is a king, but he is too important to be bothered by a man like Bartimaeus.
But Bartimaeus does not listen to the crowd of people. He knows something about Jesus. He knows Jesus has mercy to give, and Bartimaeus wants some.
What is mercy? Mercy is a gift. It is a gift from someone so great to someone so small. Will Jesus give the gift of mercy to Bartimaeus?
Jesus stood still
Jesus stops. He was going to walk by; he has someplace to go—but he stops. Jesus is completely still. Why?
and said, “Call him here.”
Oh. Jesus stops for Bartimaeus. He is completely still for Bartimaeus. He has all the time in the world for little Bartimaeus at the side of the road.
This is a gift, isn't it? This is mercy for Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is right; Jesus has mercy, and he gives it to Bartimaeus.
What does Bartimaeus do?
So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.
He is so excited! He springs up!
Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”
Bartimaeus knows even more about Jesus. He calls him "my teacher." He knows Jesus is for him. And he knows that Jesus can teach him, by helping him to see.
What does Jesus do?
Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Wait. What happens? What does "regained his sight" mean?
Bartimaeus can see!
Jesus says his faith has made him well. His faith is what Bartimaeus knows about Jesus. Let's remember what Bartimaeus knows.
Jesus is a king.
Jesus has mercy to give.
Jesus is for Bartimaeus, even though Bartimaeus is small.
Jesus can help him see.
This is Bartimaeus' faith and it makes him well. He shares his faith with us.
Now we know that Jesus is a king and has mercy to give.
Now we know Jesus is for us, even though we are small.
We know Jesus can help us see, too.
What do we do when we know all this? We do what Bartimaeus does! We spring up and come to Jesus!
And what does Jesus do?
He stands still. He has all the time in the world for us. He gives us his mercy.