Sunday, October 24
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Jeremiah 31,7-9.
Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, The mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble. For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“the LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
they shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
Letter to the Hebrews 5,1-6.
Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you”;
just as he says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10,46-52.
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395)
monk and Bishop
The Life of Moses, II, 231-233, 251-253 (copyright Classics of Western Spirituality)
“Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way”
[The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai: “Let me see your glory!” He answered: “I will make all my beauty pass before you (…) but my face you cannot see” (Ex 33:18 f).] Such an experience seems to me to belong to the soul which loves what is beautiful. Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen to what is beyond (…) And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire asks this: to enjoy the Beauty not in mirrors and reflections, but face to face. The divine voice granted what was requested in what was denied (…): the munificence of God assented to the fulfilment of the desire but did not promise any cessation or satiety of the desire (…) The true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire. For he says: “You cannot see my face and live” (…).
But when the Lord who spoke to Moses came to fulfil his own law, he likewise gave a clear explanation to his disciples, laying bare the meaning of what had previously been said in a figure when he said: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine “ (Lk 9:23) and not “If any man will go before me.” And to the one asking about eternal life he proposes the same thing, for he says: “Come, follow me” (Lk 18:22). Now, he who follows sees the back. So Moses, who eagerly seeks to behold God, is now taught how he can behold Him: to follow God wherever he might lead is to behold God (…).
Someone who does not know the way cannot complete his journey safely in any other way than by following behind his guide. He who leads, then, by his guidance shows the way to the one following. He who follows will not turn aside from the right way if he always keeps the back of his leader in view. For he who moves to one side or brings himself to face his guide assumes another direction for himself than the one his guide shows him. Therefore God says to the one who is led: “My face is not to be seen”, that is, “Do not face your guide”. If he does so, his course will certainly be in the opposite direction (…). You see how it is so great a thing to learn how to follow God (…). No longer does any offense which comes about through evil withstand the one who thus follows him.