Jesus told blind man, “Go your way; Lech Lech ah your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. Gospel for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Jesus tells the blind man to go his own way and the blind man follows him. He didn’t here the command to go his own way?
Now the Name told Abram, “Go out of your country, and from your kin, and from your father’s house, unto the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
The Gospel really begins with Mark 10: 45. “The Son of man also came not to be served/dwelled with, but to dwell with, to serve, to attend, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Jericho is Hebrew for the moon. Tam can mean to things. If it comes from the Greek it means value. Bar Timaeus could mean Son of Value. If it comes from the Hebrew, more likely, it means completeness and therefore perfection, innocence, or simplicity. When referring to Jacob and Esau Genesis calls Jacob Tam. He is the opposite of his brother, staying home, and studying the traditions of his family.
The Gospel refers to Jesus in two ways. Jesus Ben Nazareth and Jesus Ben David. Jesus means salvation. Ben means both “Son” and “To build.” One builds a home; one builds a son and a daughter until they are adults. “Nazareth means to guard or to bloom. In the Psalms of Salomon King Solomon says “Dodi Li U Ani Low.” “My beloved is to me and I am to him. “Dodi” “David” means beloved and romantic love.
Jesus calls Bar Timaeus. This calling is another word pregnant with meaning. The Latin is “Vocare” from which derive our word, “Vocation.” When we read the readings at Mass, the Hebrew word is again Car ah. It is proclamation an inviting to live the events, again, for the first time.
In our Gospel Jesus stands on the lifeless moon. The previous verse tells us this story is about his serving and not being served. A blind man, the son of Simplicity comes to Jesus screaming through the crowd for mercy. In Hebrew Mercy comes from the same word as Womb. He screams for a compassion only a mother can know for her children.
In Jewish liturgy where one sits is very important. The Rabbi, knowing the most, sits in the center. The further out one goes the less one knows and the less pure they are. The blind man begins the liturgy with a call for mercy, compassion. Jesus, Salvation, comes, bringing the fresh blooming of new life. People being who people are, then and now, try to stop the outcasts from receiving salvation. It is for the middle-class and not the outcasts.
Jesus does not simply ask for the crowd to call the man to come over to him, but uses that vocare. He invites Bar Timaeus the same way God invites Abraham. Lech Lech ah. It is not to instant gratification, wealth and riches. It is not to being Tam. He started with that. It is to leave those things and to leave modern day Basra, where Abram started, and to leave his family, everything he holds dear and to head out into the unknown.
In Hebrew, seeing Rah, is related to being part of the flock, Rah, spelled differently. It is to be part of God’s flock and to proclaim salvation, Jesus to others. It is to a called life of mercy, being a womb for others, proclaiming how he was saved to others. It is being a son of love to others.
One last key word in the passage is faith. Faith and truth are the same word in Hebrew. True faith heals, not Jesus, according to the passage. Jesus brings faith and truth together. He brings us into contact with truth, reality, others, being in touch with others needs, seeing the world in its totality. The blind man then follows Jesus by going out into the desert as Abraham did. Are we up to the same calling?