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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Oct. 28, 2012

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

October 28, 2012 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B Readings

1) Jeremiah 31:7-9

Psalm 126:1-6

2) Hebrews 5:1-6

Gospel) Mark 10:46-52

By Jeff Hedglen

Conversion has many faces.

Sacramentally, it comes in the form of baptism through the faith of the church and one's parents and godparents. It also happens in an "aha" moment of experiencing God in a different way.

As a deepening of our faith, conversion often comes when we least expect it: at a faith-based summer camp that our parents signed us up for or a parish mission we attended out of obligation or a homily that touched us in a surprising way.

Conversion also can be a result of being in a place of deep need and having nowhere to turn but to God. I found myself in a place like this when I was 16 years old. My family moved to Texas from Michigan at the end of my sophomore year of high school. I had to leave behind all my childhood friends. To say I was depressed that first year would be an understatement.

But because we were a church-going family, I attended Mass and formation classes at the local parish and ended up being invited to a retreat that changed my life. I really did not know how bad off I was or how much I needed Jesus in my life. But at that retreat, in a very clear way, I heard what Bartimaeus heard from Jesus in this Sunday's Gospel: "What do you want me to do for you?" I wish I had been astute enough to answer the way he did, "Master, I want to see." But at the time I had no idea how blind I was.

When I look back on that day, I realize it was a turning point for me, and, like Bartimaeus, I began to consciously follow Jesus from that day forward.

Few of us are in Bartimaeus' situation, needing physical sight. But many of us are blind to other things or have other similarly serious needs that drive us to shout, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." This cry of our heart opens the way for the grace of God to flow. Of course, God already knows what we need, but he wants to be invited to be a part of the solution.


Has there ever been a time when you cried out to Jesus like Bartimaeus did? What is an area of your life where you would like to say to Jesus: "Master, I want to see?"


"Jesus said to him in reply, 'What do you want me to do for you?'" -- Mark 10:51


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