When you need a miracle, do you actually believe that it can happen? Do you pray with profound faith, or are you somewhat skeptical when you request something of God?
Bartimaeus, a blind man begging at the side of the road in Jericho, had very little on earth, but his faith was strong. Imagine, he could not see Jesus, but he had clearly overheard stories about him. He believed that Jesus had the power to restore his sight, and he boldly asked the Lord to make it happen.
He wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed to address Jesus. In fact, when people told him to be quiet, he yelled at the top of his lungs! He wasn’t going to miss his chance to be healed by the Son of God!
So how can we pray with the faith of Bartimaeus? Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, reflected on this in his Angelus Address this week.
Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
This short prayer says more than meets the eye. Bartimaeus “acknowledges Jesus as the Messiah”, explained Pope Francis. He is not fearful, but boldly approaches Jesus with his needs.
“He does not ask for some loose change as he does with passers-by. No. He asks for everything from the One who can do everything,” said the Pope. This takes faith and courage, leaving no room for doubt in the ability of Christ to do what is asked of Him.
His prayer is also quite simple. It’s not a small request, and it is bold, yet he gets right to the point. As Pope Francis explained, “He says what is essential and entrusts himself to God’s love which can make his life flourish again by doing what is humanly impossible.”
Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside—perhaps his only worldly possession—and jumped to his feet when Jesus called for him. Do you throw everything aside and come running when Christ calls to you?
This kind of miracle isn’t just for Biblical times—it can and does happen still today! Pope Francis told a story about a father whose faith mimicked that of Bartimaeus:
“So many of us, when we pray, do not believe that the Lord can work miracles. I am reminded of the story – which I have seen – of the father who was told by the doctors that his nine-year-old daughter would not spend the night; she was in hospital. And he took a bus and travelled seventy kilometres to the Shrine of Our Lady. It was closed and, clinging to the gate, spent the whole night praying: ‘Lord, save her! Lord, give her life!’ He prayed to Our Lady, all night long, crying out to God, crying from his heart. Then in the morning, when he returned to the hospital, he found his wife weeping. And he thought: ‘She is dead’. And his wife said: ‘No-one understands, no-one understands, the doctors say it’s a strange thing, she seems to have healed’. The cry of that man who asked for everything was heard by the Lord who had given him everything. This is not a story: I saw this myself, in the other diocese. Do we have this courage in prayer?”
Lord, give us the grace to trust in your miracle-working power and to pray with deep faith like Bartimaeus.