Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bible Study: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B (October 25, 2009)
Opening Prayer
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.     Amen.
St. Jerome:                       Pray for us.
St. John Vianney:             Pray for us.
St. Mark:                         Pray for us.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful.       And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.       And You will renew the face of the earth.
O God, who has taught the hearts of the faithful … Through Christ our Lord.     Amen.

First Reading – Jeremiah 31:7-9
7 Thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
      exult at the head of the nations;
      proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
      the remnant of Israel.
8 Behold, I will bring them back
      from the land of the north;
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
      with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child;
      they shall return as an immense throng.
9 They departed in tears,
      but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
      on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
      Ephraim is my first-born.
Psalm 126:1-6
1 When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
      we were like men dreaming.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
      and our tongue with rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
      "The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us;
      we are glad indeed.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
      like the torrents in the southern desert.
5 Those that sow in tears
      shall reap rejoicing.
6 Although they go forth weeping,
      carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
      carrying their sheaves.
Gospel – Mark 10:46-52
46 As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.  47 On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.  But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."
49 Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
50 He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.  51 Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
52 Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

1)      Why is Psalm 126:1-6 a fitting "response" to the First Reading?  (This is why it is called a "Responsorial Psalm")
2)      The Jewish exile is cast as a farmer going out to sow seed, and their return to Jerusalem as a farmer returning with a harvest. (Ps. 126:5-6)  Why does the psalmist use this imagery?  How was the exile like sowing seed, and the return like a harvest?
3)      What links can you find between the First Reading and Psalm, and the Gospel?
a.       Coming back from the north (Jer. 31:8)
b.      The blind and the lame in their midst (Jer. 31:8)
c.       An immense throng (Jer. 31:8)
d.      Returning to Zion (Jerusalem) (Ps. 126:1)
e.       The Lord doing great things (Ps. 126:3)
4)      Bartimaeus called Jesus "Son of David".  What does the title mean?  How would Bartimaeus know this about Jesus?
5)      Remember last week's Gospel?
    35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him,
    "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
36 Jesus replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?"
In Mark 10:36, Jesus asks James and John basically the same question that He asks Bartimaeus in Mark 10:50.  Why did Jesus grant Bartimaeus' request?  What was the difference between Bartimaeus' request and that of James and John?
6)      What "faith" is Jesus speaking about when he says that Bartimaeus' faith has saved him (literally:  "made you whole")?
7)      How does Bartimaeus respond to Jesus differently from the rich young man from two weeks ago?
To put it differently:  What does Jesus tell Bartimaeus to do after He cures him, and what does Bartimaeus do?
8)      What was Bartimaeus sacrificing by asking Jesus to cure his blindness?  What "crutches" do you lean on that you need to ask God to heal?

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