Bucaramanga (Agenzia Fides) - As Bartimaeus "we are a bit blind, we are a bit beggars, a bit poor. We need Christ, to recover Christological faith. We need to believe that our life is loved by God in spite of moments of darkness and uncertainty.
We need the light and the hope with which God reaches us until the depths in which we are about to eliminate all darkness and cure any blindness or illness". This is how Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples expressed himself during the opening Mass of the XII National Missionary Congress of Colombia, in Bucaramanga, yesterday afternoon, Thursday, May 26.
Cardinal Filoni brought the greetings and blessing of Pope Francis to the Cardinals, the Apostolic Nuncio, to the Bishops, priests, men and women religious, and numerous lay faithful, and defined his participation in the opening of the Missionary Congress "a cause of deep ecclesial joy".
Taking a cue from the Gospel of the day, the memory of St. Filippo Neri, the Cardinal focused on the healing of the blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10.46-52) in his homily. "Being blind, in the language of the Holy Scripture, is not simply a physical problem, but also has a spiritual meaning - he said -. Bartimaeus knew the darkness of blindness, and felt the need to see, and from here comes his deep cry, 'Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!'. Jesus listens to him, 'he stopped and said: Call him'."
Then, citing Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Cardinal Filoni explained that "this invitation to Bartimaeus, is the image and symbol of each of us and all those who are wavering in faith ... 'The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms' (EG 3). The Lord hears, receives, restores sight. In short, he saves through faith ... For faith Bartimaeus believed in the love of God, who can do everything", and once he recovered his sight he began to follow him.
In the first reading (1 Pt 2,2-5,9-12), Saint Peter "reminds us that we are called to urge every man and woman to have courage, because the Lord is calling us to salvation. This looking for ones brother, giving him hope, bringing him to Jesus, is what a Church which 'goes forth' means, a community of missionary disciples".
The Prefect of the Congregation concluded the homily with the hope that we too listen, like Bartimaeus, to the words of Jesus, "your faith has saved you", and we invoke the help of Mary, the humble and faithful disciple, and Santa Laura Montoya, to "accomplish our evangelizing mission efficiently". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 27/05/2016)