Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: May 27. Lectionary # 350. I Peter 2:2-5.9-12. Psalm 100:126.96.36.199.
We need all the support and nourishment that we can get these days
especially for our spiritual lives. Today the Scriptures suggest that we
reflect on our Baptism (I Peter) and on deepening our faith (Gospel of
Mark). I Peter is clearly a unified literary work on Baptism and its effect
on the community because of the commitment of the individual to this
sacrament through his or her faith. We remember from our catechetical
teaching that this sacrament is grounded in the Trinity and in the
theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity (love, agape). The letter
helps us to understand the gift of salvation that we have in Baptism. It is
not magic; rather it is a sacred gift revealed to us in the Scriptures.
All Christians, no matter what denomination, accept that Baptism and the
Eucharist are definitely and literally in the New Testament. All of us are
nourished by it effects upon us like a child nursing at its mother’s
breast–this is the image of the inspired writer to help us in order to
get down to what Baptism means as spiritual nourishment. The milk
represents the living word of God given and impressed on the elements and
ritual of Baptism. We are encouraged to grow stronger into adulthood in our
spiritual lives through this spiritual nourishment or food for our souls.
The likeness and confomity to Christ is our immediate and continuing goal
through this sacrament. “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord” is behind
the writer’s intention. He uses the Old Testament prophets especially
Isaiah and the Psalms to make us aware of our primary and foundational
In our Gospel, Mark gives us another quick, dynamic, and colorful miracle
of Jesus. His passion for detail is always present as he writes even in
some faulty Greek compared to the other Gospels! God writes straight even
with Mark’s crooked lines and all the moreso with ours! Bartimaeus is the
blind man who breaks out in a Jesus Prayer by shouting, “Jesus, Son of
David, have pity on me!” Others cannot quiet the man and Jesus wants to
see him because Bartimaeus cannot see on his own without Jesus’ seeing him.
He throws off his cloak and hopes he is running to Jesus. He succeeds and
is immediately cured of his blindness. It was his profound trust and faith
in the person of Jesus (a Johannine theme) that brought about his healing.
Mark then tells us that Bartimaeus continued up the road from Jericho to
Jerusalem following Jesus with a joyful and jubilant heart. He probably
was jumping and testing his perfect vision as he made his way with the
other disciples and the crowd. We, too, are recipients of Jesus’ healing
power through our baptismal faith. Amen.