Thursday, October 25, 2012

Proper 25 - Year B

Pentecost 23

You'll find a recurring character both in stories about Jesus, and in the parables which Jesus told: It's the man or the woman who will not shut up - even when they’ve been told to.  

In the Gospel parables we meet such characters as the widow who hammered on the judge’s door until he delivered justice to her (Luke 18:1-8), or the neighbour who arrived at midnight asking for bread to feed a traveling friend and would not be turned away until the door was opened for him  (Luke 11:5-8).  

In stories concerning Jesus there is the Canaanite woman looking for healing for her daughter who shouted out and caused a fuss even though she’d been told to stop disturbing the master (Matthew 15:21-28).   In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, the role is played by blind Bartimeus who, when he heard that Jesus was walking by, made a complete spectacle of himself in spite of the disciples’ protests until Jesus walked over to him and healed him.

Politeness and goodness we oftentimes conflate with silence.  We do this particularly with respect to children.  Concerning ourselves, we worry perhaps that we might appear dependent or lose face in the community were we to express our needs openly and passionately?  

And yet Jesus seems to find that this very importunity - this same honest expression of need is something akin to faith - some part of faith - an example of faith - on the part of those who come to him openly and honestly and even loudly.

Tell someone, then, what you need.  Go ahead.  Tell God what you need.  

Not all silence is golden.