Hmmmmm. Here is Jesus, surrounded by a crowd of people, while poor, blind Bartimaeus – who wants nothing more than a major miracle – is told to “take courage.” Why?
The story also appears in the Gospels of Matthew (20:30) and Luke (18:38) but only in the Gospel of Mark is his name given. It is important to note, however, that in ALL three Gospels the blind man addresses Jesus with the same title, “Son of David!” This is a traditional designation for the Messiah, who was to be a descendent of King David with powers to expel demons and heal the sick. What the three evangelists are telling us, rather pointedly, is that this blind man, Bartimaeus, can see what the others could not.
He is the Messiah! It’s the others who are blind but that does not explain the need to “take courage.” The people are crowding around Jesus – probably like a celebrity – and as they help Bartimaeus to his feet and guide him to Jesus their first words to him are, “take courage.”
Sometimes we have to look at things in a different light to better see and understand and sometimes it helps to close our eyes and open our ears. God speaks with a soft, gentle voice, and our vision can block our true hearing. Perhaps those surrounding Jesus had doubts about His true identity and abilities. Perhaps their admonition to take courage was meant to prepare Bartimaeus for the possibility of NOT being cured, as he expected. Perhaps they had qualms about this lowly, blind man presenting himself to the “celebrity” Jesus. We don’t know. Mark doesn’t tell us.
The words have meaning for us in our prayer lives and the manner in which we approach our Lord and Savior. How we see Jesus can obscure what our ears tell us. This is where our Blessed Mother can help.
Consecration to Mary helps us draw closer to Jesus with the help of His Blessed Mother. Through the eyes of Mary we can see more clearly and distinctly. We can also know Him more intimately and we can approach Him without the need to take courage.