Theme: WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
- Jeremiah 31:7-9;
- Psalm 125 (126): R/ v. 3;
- Hebrews 5:1-6
- Mark 10:46-52
Today is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ! The gospel today tells us that a blind man approached Jesus to be healed of his blindness. He cried out to Jesus twice, “Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me”. “Son of David” is a Messianic title! The blind man acknowledged Jesus to be the Messiah!
But more importantly, the gospel tells us that Jesus cured the blind man of his blindness saying, “Go; your faith has saved you”. And the blind man could see immediately and he followed Jesus on the way.
The blind man could see with the eyes of faith and he followed Jesus on the way to “Jerusalem” to suffer, die and rise from the dead. (NJBC; IBC; Fuller; Faley) The twelve disciples of Jesus could not see with the eyes of faith and they could not follow Jesus on the way to “Jerusalem” to suffer, die, and rise from the dead. The twelve disciples of Jesus wanted to sit at Jesus right hand and left in his glory, but they did not want to follow Jesus to “Jerusalem” to his Passion; even after Jesus taught them a third time that he was to suffer, die, and rise from the dead on the third day! (Mk 10:32-45; Previous Sunday)
Again, we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ!
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about salvation in Jesus Christ. The first reading tells us about the return from exile from Babylon. This is the second Exodus, the new Exodus, more important than the first Exodus! Thus we read in the first reading:
“‘The Lord has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’ See, I will bring them back from the land of the North and gather them from the far ends of the earth; all of them: the blind and the lame, women with child, women in labor: a great company returning here.” (Jr 31:7-8; SM)
Again, this second and new Exodus will only be completely and finally fulfilled in the salvation by Jesus Christ!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us about the return from exile from Babylon. The responsorial psalm tells us that the people of Israel rejoiced that they were back in Zion! (CSB) Thus we read in the first and second stanzas of the responsorial psalm:
“When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream. Then was our mouths filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs. The heathens themselves said: ‘What marvels the Lord worked for them!’ What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.” (Ps 125 (126): 1-3; SM)
And thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.” (Ps 125 (126): 3; SM)
Again, this second and new Exodus will only be fulfilled in the salvation by Jesus Christ!
The second reading tells us that the high priest has been appointed by God to offer sacrifices for sins, for his own sins and for the sins of the people. The high priest did not choose himself but he was chosen by God. In the same way Jesus Christ did not chose himself but he was chosen by God to be high priest. Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He was chosen by God his Father to be high priest. The priesthood of Jesus Christ is the priesthood of Melchizedek, like Melchizedek, Jesus Christ had no earthly father and mother; He had no beginning and end. He was the Son of God. (Heb 7:3) He was without sin and he offered himself as the sacrifice for sin. He did it once and for all. He is the only one who can save us from sin! Again, we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ!
The theme of faith in today’s gospel is very relevant for us today, because just over two weeks ago, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI launched the Year of Faith! The Year of Faith was launched on the 11th of October 2012 and it will end on the 24th of November 2013. The Year of Faith coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)! During this Year of Faith we are asked to update and renew our faith with the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
We have not launched the Year of Faith in our Diocese and parishes yet, but we must do something immediately. We must buy the Catechism of the Catholic Church for our homes, our schools, colleges, universities, BECs (Basic Ecclesial Communities), our offices, Sunday schools, our communities, etc.! And we must share and pray the Catechism of the Catholic Church with our families, our teachers, our students, our workmates, our friends, our communities, our catechumens, etc. In short, we are to renew our faith and share our faith with others! Wishing you a happy and joyful Sunday and a happy and fruitful Year of Faith!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.