Pope Francis encourages us to pray to the Lord, like Bartimaeus in Sunday’s Gospel reading, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And may we repeat it often with concrete, insistent and courageous faith.
In his reflections before leading the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis recalled the day’s Gospel account of when Jesus restores the sight of Bartimaeus, the blind man who pleaded with him “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” He noted how Jesus immediately stopped to meet him, as God always hears the cry of the poor. Calling on God with courageous faith and hope despite being reproached by others in calling out for Jesus so vocally, Jesus gave him the miracle of returning his sight, saying “Your faith has made you well”.
Appealing for God’s Mercy
The Pope observed that Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as the Messiah and confidently called on Him by name “from the heart”, asking for His mercy. “He asks for everything from the One who can do everything”, appealing to God’s compassion, mercy, and tenderness. Using few, essential words, Bartimaeus “entrusts himself to God’s love” for the miracle of regaining his sight, the Pope added, but also for the healing of his heart, as he was also likely dealing with suffering in his own life caused by wounds, humiliations, broken dreams, and mistakes.
Pope Francis recounted something he witnessed in Argentina, when the father of a nine year old girl had to take her to the hospital. The doctors said she would not survive the night, so he went by bus 70km to a Marian Shrine, closed at the time, where he prayed all night crying out to God to save his daughter. The next morning he returned to the hospital where he found his daughter miraculously better, something the doctors could not explain. The Pope said we too should have this courage and faith to ask God for everything who can give us everything.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!…Let us make this prayer our own today”, the Pope said, and “let us repeat it”, but also asking ourselves if we too are courageous and insistent in our own prayers, able to sense and call out to the Lord who is near. Do we bare our heart before the Lord or do we hold back, keeping our distance out of timidness or lack of belief, he asked. “When faith is alive, prayer is heartfelt”, he pointed out, and we should ask everything from Jesus who can do everything for us, who “cannot wait to pour out his grace and joy into our hearts”. May Bartimaeus’ “concrete, insistent and courageous faith” remind us to do the same, the Pope concluded, and may the Blessed Virgin “teach us to turn to God with all our heart, confident that He listens attentively to every prayer.”