Thursday of week 8 in Ordinary Time, Bible Study: Sirach 42:15-25, Psalm 33 and Mark 10:46-52
“Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” (Mark 10:48)
The book of Sirach today teaches us that nothing can ever be hidden from God. It says: “For the Most High knows all that may be known… No thought escapes him, and not one word is hidden from him.” (Sirach 42:18-20). In this regard, the Psalmist declares:
“Where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-13)
If God knows all that there is to be known why do we still need to pray at all? How come Bartimaeus, in our Gospel passage today, had to call out to Jesus to get His attention? As far as our relationship with God is concerned, we cannot do without prayer.
God already knows what we want even before we open our lips to pray, (Cf. Matthew 6:7-8) but He demands that we ask: “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
When we pray, we are informing God of anything which He already does not know. God knows everything. When we pray, we spend time with God, we relate with Him and we express our Faith.
There will always be people to discourage us from praying, many would tell us that prayers are a waste of time. They would try to shut us down but like Bartimaeus, we must never give in to the pressure of the crowd.
As to why Jesus delayed in responding to Bartimaeus initially, this shows us that prayer is not magic. Sometimes, God responds with “Yes.” Sometimes, God responds by saying: “Not yet.” Jesus gave us the parable of the unjust judge to teach us to be always persistent in prayer and never give up. (Luke 18:1-8)
Jesus still asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” That Jesus asked him this question teaches us once again that God wants to hear from us. It is not okay to assume God already knows what you want, God wants to hear you say it. Never stop praying. Every moment spent prayer is never wasted.
Let us pray: Lord God, help me to see that prayer is a relationship. Help me to value the time I spend with you and give me the grace of a persistent faith that I may never be discouraged by those who do not believe in prayer. Amen
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.