Homily, 30th Sunday in the Ordinary Time, Year B(1)

God of Mercy and Compassion

Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 125:1-6
Hebrews 5:1-6

Mark 10:46-52

The readings of today is arranged in such a way that even the blind who hears it being read in its proper sequence can understand that God is compassionate and merciful to His creatures.

The first reading Jeremiah 31:7-9 begins with, “Thus says the Lord.” This shows that God spoke through Jeremiah that He will save Israel from their dispersed places of exile. The savings is for all in every state of life and health.

The Psalms 125:1-6 is a follow up and a confirmation that the prophesy of Isaiah came to pass. The Lord fulfilled his promise of mercy and compassion.

The second reading Hebrews 5:1-6 is how God substantiated and concretized this mercy and compassion in Jesus the High Priest.

The Gospel Mark 10:46-52 is
an epitome and a perfect example of this expression of God’s Mercy and Compassion to humanity, through Jesus.

With this sequence of comprehension, we move confidently into God’s mercy and compassion through the readings.


Jeremiah prophesied to the people of Israel in exile. It’s a prophecy of restoration. But what actually gave Israel out into exile if not their sins and disobedience to God’s covenant. So, it all means that God will have mercy on them on their sins and its consequences, to the extent that God said, ” For I am a father to Israel.”

God is indeed compassionate and merciful. So, the psalmist confirms this message of mercy and compassion when he say: “What marvels the Lord worked for us! Indeed we were glad.”

Yes indeed they were glad that God had mercy and compassion as He promised. Going through the verses, one sees this mercy in action to extent that other nations confirmed it.

In Hebrews 5:1-6, God comes among men in Jesus to continue and concretize the works of mercy and compassion that he started in the old testament.

Jesus is likened to a high priest he chooses not himself but by another. That another is God whose merciful nature flows out of love for humanity.

This time, mercy and compassion is on its increase because Jesus has identified with mankind. He is now part of the sinful humanity. But, what he did was to offer himself as a sacrifice. There was the need for such a sacrifice because he has seen and lived in our weakness and that without which, mercy and compassion becomes difficult.

In the Gospel, Jesus who is God’s appointed hight priest is seen giving out mercy and compassion to human beings like blind Bartimaeus confirming the prophecy of Jeremiah that even the blind shall return. Yes to sight.

It’s in the Gospel that you understand what it means in Hebrews that “so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness.”

Child of God, the compassion Jesus showed to Bartimeus is the one shown and will be shown to everyone of us.

In Bartimeus, we see the weakness of human nature evident.

However, something precedes that mercy and compassion. The Gospel says: “So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’”

The blindness signifies our sins and troubling circumstances. A blind person is in total darkness. A sinful person is in spiritual darkness which effects the physical attitude to become blind or evil attitude.

A person in troubling circumstances wants to see the light that he or she may come out of his or her troubles.

That cloak signifies what each and everyone of us must remove and throw away before we can run to Mercy; before mercy and compassion can be shown to us.

What is your own cloak?

Remember, Bartimeus had to shout times and times before his cries were heard. It entails that we must make effort to get this mercy.

However, people scolded him to keep quiet when he asked for Mercy. It means that in our efforts to ask for God’s mercy, many things and people including friends shall stand in our way.

But Bartimaeus persistence led him to mercy himself. If we persist, mercy and compassion shall be ours.

Don’t give up that struggle for mercy because many have given up that their sins, sinful situations and troubling earthly conditions shall swallow them up.

No, like Bartimeus, shout loud in petitions up to heaven and make more sincere efforts. Prodigies of mercy shall descend from heaven unto you.

Don’t give up for His Name is Mercy.

© Fr. Henry Charles N. Henry Umelechi

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