Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
(I Peter 2:2-5.9-12; Mark 10:46-52)
Faith has been called another way of seeing. It looks beyond the physical to the spiritual realities that surround us. It recognizes that our true goals in life are not comfort and pleasure but the joy and peace of God’s kingdom. It also sees the Church as our help in attaining these goals. Both readings today convey this message.
When Bartimaeus asks Jesus for sight, he no doubt wants to see colors and shapes like his companions. Jesus grants him this ability but adds the gift of faith. With that addition Bartimaeus does not go his own way but joins the community of disciples on the way to eternal life.
In the first reading the presbyter Peter calls the people to look beyond the attractions of the world. He wants them to forego worldly desires so that they may enjoy the peace of living close to God. His message serves us well today. We are to set as our goals not luxury but friendship with both God and neighbor.