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Friday, 22 October 2021 18:02

30th Week in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2021

Written by Fr Bill Burt SVD

MARK 10:46-52.  Bartimaeus Jumps for Joy!

 

Bill Burt 150“JUMPING FOR JOY!”

Isn’t this a wonderful expression? It conjures-up images of happiness and excitement that all of us have experienced at some time in our lives. Little children often literally will jump for joy, maybe when they see Santa, or get their first pet, have their favourite food, or when they go to the beach for the first time in summer and run to the beckoning sea.

Adults, too, can be seen jumping for joy! Many Sydney-siders will remember the excitement the city felt when it was announced that the 2000 Olympics would be held in their city, and viewers watching the event on their TVs jumped excitedly. Many of us will remember seeing Prime Minister Bob Hawke jump for joy when Australia won the America’s Cup.

Today’s Gospel records a “jumping for joy” moment in the life of a man called Bartimaeus, who had a great reason for being happy. His life changed dramatically in an instant. Surely he recalled what happened for the rest of his life. He would have glowed with joy, recounting his encounter with Jesus.

Today, is WORLD MISSION DAY. All of us whose hearts have been touched by Jesus are reminded today that we are invited to share the joy that is rooted in our hearts with others. This is the essence of mission.

Back on 6th January, this year, when Pope Francis anticipated World Mission Day, he quoted a verse in the Acts of the Apostles, “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). He reiterated how the first Christian missionaries were motivated. They admitted that they were passionate about spreading the word about Jesus, because of the joy that was in their hearts. Seeing so much misery and hopelessness in their world, which contrasted so dramatically with the joy that was theirs, they were impelled to take seriously Jesus’ words about telling the Good News throughout the world.

In 2021, we are invited to carry on this God-given task. Every person reading this reflection receives a personal invitation to do so.  As we accept this invitation, which is offered daily, we remember what St Francis of Assisi said, “We are called to share the Good News every day. And sometimes we need to use words”.

Sharing the joy that comes from being touched by Jesus, doesn’t mean boring our neighbours with non-stop biblical quotes! It does mean, though, radiating the joy that comes from having him in our hearts, in practical ways.

We are participants in a mission that has gone on for centuries. The great missionaries of the past continue to inspire us, including in a special way, Saint Mary Magdalen, whom the Church honours as the first missionary disciple. May they support us to be “salt of the earth” and “light for the world”, so that, “seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.”   (Matthew 5: 13-16).   AMEN!