40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Two: Tuesday)

Tuesday

Confession: Psalm 6:5–7

For there is no remembrance of you in death.

In Sheol, who will give thanks to you?

I am weary with my groaning;

I flood my bed every night.

With my tears I drench my couch.

My eye wastes away because of vexation;

it grows old because of all my oppressors.

Reading: Mark 10:46–52

And they came to Jericho. And as he was setting out from Jericho along with his disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road. And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many people warned him that he should be quiet. But he was crying out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man and said to him, “Have courage! Get up! He is calling you.” And he threw off his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered him and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabboni, that I may regain my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you.” And immediately he regained his sight and began to follow him on the road.

Reflection

O most kind, most loving Lord, whom I now desire to receive with devotion. You know the weakness and the necessity which I suffer, in what great evils and vices I am involved, how often I am depressed, tempted, defiled, and troubled.

To you I come for help; to you I pray for comfort and relief. I speak to Him who knows all things, to whom my whole inner life is manifest, and who alone can perfectly comfort and help me.

You know what good things I am most in need of and how poor I am in virtue. Behold, I stand before you, poor and naked, asking your grace and imploring your mercy.

Feed your hungry beggar. Inflame my coldness with the fire of your love. Enlighten my blindness with the brightness of your presence. Turn all earthly things to bitterness for me, all grievance and adversity to patience, all lowly creation to contempt and oblivion. Raise my heart to you in heaven, and suffer me not to wander on earth. From this moment to all eternity do you alone grow sweet to me, for you alone are my food and drink, my love and my joy, my sweetness and my total good.

Let your presence wholly inflame me. Consume and transform me into yourself, that I may become one spirit with you by the grace of inward union and by the melting power of your ardent love.

Suffer me not to go from you fasting and thirsty, but deal with me mercifully as you have so often and so wonderfully dealt with your saints.

What wonder if I were completely inflamed by you to die to myself, since you are the fire ever burning and never dying, a love purifying the heart and enlightening the understanding.

—Thomas à Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

Response

Instead of “going on his way,” Bartimaeus followed after Jesus. What is your response to Christ’s intervention in your life? After reflecting on this, spend time praying Thomas à Kempis’ prayer.[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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