Called Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B
Jeremiah 31:7-9 Psalm 126 Hebrews 5:1-6 Mark 10:46-52
The reading from Hebrews teaches that priests are called by God since “No one takes this honor upon himself”. In his letter to the Ephesians and in other letters, Paul teaches that not only are priests called by God but also the baptized were called by God to receive the gift of Baptism. (Eph 4:4-6)
In the Gospel passage, Jesus calls someone who is not a priest and is not baptized. Jesus calls a blind man, living on the margins of society, who spends time sitting “by the roadside begging”.
These different kinds of calling may also be named vocations, since the English Latin based word, vocation, is based on the Latin verb vocare meaning to call. The related English word voice is similarly based on the Latin noun vox, vocis.
In each case, God is the one who chooses and calls a person. God calls some to be priests; God calls people to receive the gift of Baptism; God calls the marginalized to experience his healing love.
What all these kinds of calling, these kinds of vocations have in common is that in each case those called are invited by Jesus to follow him. The Gospel passage names this “the way”. After being healed by Jesus, the blind man, states Mark, followed Jesus “on the way”. In John’s Gospel, Jesus explicitly identifies himself as the way with the word, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6 RSVCE)
The Greek word for way is hodos. Recently, Pope Francis has used this Greek word when he called the Church to travel the way of synodality. The word synod is formed out of the Greek word syn, meaning together, and the Greek word hodos, meaning way, and road.
When we interpret what Pope Francis has been calling the Church to from the perspective of Scripture it becomes apparent that synodality is a calling to live out more deeply our Baptisms. At our Baptisms we were baptized into the Trinity, for the Jesus is the way, who does not leave us orphans but sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts to strengthen us as together we walk towards our Heavenly Father. As we walk the way of Jesus, we may encounter people by the margins of the road, sitting by the road side asking us for help. May we respond as Jesus responded to Bartimaeus by healing Bartimaeus. Jesus healed Bartimaeus in two primary ways, physically by restoring the blind man’s sight, but more importantly, by giving Bartimaeus the ability to see the world, to see all of realty with eyes of faith.
When we see the world with eyes of faith, with belief that Jesus is with us as the way, with the belief that the Holy Spirit is present to us as our comforter and the Heavenly Father is beckoning us forward, even journeys through deserts become bearable and meaningful. May we not hesitate to cooperate with God in inviting others to the gift of our wonderful, Catholic faith.
Blessings – Fr Peter
Con dâng Chúa – My Sacrificial Offering – Phanxicô
καλούμενος. kaloumenos from καλέω, kaleó meaning “to call”. “Strong’s Concordance, 2564. Kaleó,” biblehub.com, https://biblehub.com/greek/2564.htm. Latin – vocare.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 RSVCE)
“Strong’s Concordance, 3598. hodos,” biblehub.com, https://biblehub.com/greek/3598.htm. Feminine Noun, ὁδός, οῦ, ἡ.
“synod (n.),” etymonline.com, https://www.etymonline.com/word/synod.
 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 RSVCE)