Christ Our High Priest And Mediator
Readings: 1st: Jer 31, 7-9; Ps 125; 2nd: Heb 5, 1-6; Gos: Mk 10, 46-52
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
On this thirtieth Sunday of ordinary time, the church invites us to place our faith and hope in Christ, our high priest. As our high priest and mediator, Christ opens our eyes to see the marvels that He has done for us.
Our first reading this Sunday is a radical articulation of hope, as the basis for liberation and survival. Hence, we find images of restoration, and renewal. Exiled, the Israelites was weak and helpless. However, redemption and peace came from God.
Our second reading reminds us of the role of the priest. Every true priest shares in the priesthood of Christ, the high priest. A priest mediates for the people and helps strengthen their faith. “Every high priest was chosen from among humans…so he can understand and sympathize with those who are ignorant and rejected.”
Hence, during the anniversary of his episcopal ordination Saint Augustine wrote: “I am fearful of what I am for you, but I draw strength from what I am with you. For you, I am a priest, and with you, I am a Christian…Help me by your prayers and obedience to carry out these many serious, and varied duties…” (Sermon 350, 1).
So, as a human being “who lives within the limitations of weakness,” the priest must pray for himself. Most importantly, his community must always pray for him. As Christians, we all need God’s mercy, healing and liberation from the limitations of life. So, we must constantly turn to Christ our High Priest for help.
Today’s gospel, has a lot to teach us. We see the blind and poor Bartimaeus yearning for healing and liberation. He will not let this opportunity pass him by. So, like a drowning man, he cried out for help: “Jesus, Son of David have pity on me!”
The blind Bartimaeus represents our collective human situation that is constantly yearning for healing and liberation from weakness, sickness, poverty and sin. Our blindness might not necessarily be the physical loss of vision. However, it could be whatever that limits and prevents us from reaching, or maximizing our potentials in life.
To be free from these limitations, first, we must humbly acknowledge that they exist. Second, it is interesting to note that, Bartimaeus did not believe because he was cured. Rather, he was cured because he believed, and humbly cried out for help. So, seeing his faith, Christ said to him: “Your faith has cured you.”
There is a simple saying that: “If you are not tired of praying, God is not tired of listing to
you.” The good news today is that, Christ our high priest is always ready to hear, heal and liberate us from whatever is limiting us in life. He wants us to see again. To see again, is to have a living faith in Christ, our high priest who mediates for us before the Father.
However, like the blind Bartimaeus, we must humbly call out to him: “Jesus, Son of David have pity on me…Lord that I may see.” Also, like Bartimaeus, neither the crowd, nor pride can stop us from reaching Christ. As the psalmist tells us: “The poor man called and the Lord heard him” (Ps 36, 4).
Finally, if we sincerely call on Christ our high in faith, He will surely hear us: “For, whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved” (Rom 10, 13). So, today filled with hope, let us sing: “What marvels the Lord has worked for us! Indeed, we were glad.”
Peace be with you!