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Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on how the Rock Star Jesus responds to a blind dude that no one wants him to meet.  Who are the invisible people in our lives and what are we doing about them?.  Listen to this podcast of his reflection for the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Please read Mark 10:46-52. #GreatCatholicPreaching #Catholic #BenU1887

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For Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 10/28/2012The 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Please pause this audio and read Mark 10:46-52.
    Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”  Yet, what we see here with the blind man, Bartimeus, is that Jesus is taking it a step further.  He is giving the good of healing to someone that most everyone in the crowd believes is NOT his due.  In fact, the prevailing stream of thought in those days was that those with disabilities were besought with their ailment because they had done something, or their parents had done something, to deserve their disability.  
    I can always tell when my daughter is going to downtown Chicago.  She walks through the house asking people if they have change so that she doesn’t have to go to the bank.  Every one dollar bill in the house will be sucked into her pocket before she goes.  Her friends, most of them well to do, say, “Why do you give those beggars on the street money?  They are just going to use it for drugs.”  Her response?  “Maybe they will, but it is not my business.  My business is to give to the poor because God sees them.” In this one event, we see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Here we have Hannah, my daughter, going to the City, tending to the poor and the crowd saying, “Why are you taking care of people who are just where they are because they deserve it?”
    It is no coincidence that last week’s Gospel passage has Jesus talking about servant leadership and this week’s passage has Jesus walking out of Jericho, on his way to Jerusalem, the complete Rock Star entourage in tow, and the crazy phenom stops and he takes care of the person that no one wants to encounter, the blind man that no one sees.  This is no coincidence.  Servant leadership includes seeing the people that no one else sees.  Servant leadership is seeing people who are not seen because of all of the fame, all of the trappings of so called “success” and all of the honor that insulates leaders from their true calling and need.  Last week, Jesus calls leaders to serve.  This week, Jesus serves to show that he leads.
    Benedictine University sits in DuPage County, Illinois.  It is the wealthiest county in the state of Illinois.  Swanky shops and restaurants, very large houses, horse farms, extremely quaint  shopping districts in towns that have million dollar homes that anywhere else would cost a fraction of that price.  Where is the need here? Little would you know that there are 608 people in DuPage County each night that are without housing.
    I once served a church in a small town where the number one problem in the county was domestic violence.  Let’s call it “Blind County.”  There were no women’s shelters in Blind County.  Yet, in the next county over, there were more residents in the women’s shelter from Blind County than residents from the city where the shelter was located.  Did I mention the population of Blind County was a fraction of the population of the county in which the women’s shelter was located?  
    It would be easy for us, as Christians who do a lot of good, to scoff at those people who want to get Bartimeus to be quiet.  Shame on them!  Shame on trying to quiet a person who is calling out to Jesus for healing!  But what about those people in our own counties who are crying out for help, yet we don’t see them.  We are blind to their need for the healing that Jesus Christ does through our servanthood and leadership.  Where are we in the crowd that is following Jesus?  As we proclaim his death until he comes again, do we even know what the biggest social problem is in our own county?  Can we proclaim a solution when we don’t even see that there is a need?
    As we drive to work this week, we should take notice of the neighborhoods we drive through, the communities through which our Interstate runs.  Where is there a need?  Is Christ calling us to meet that need?  More simply, when we walk into our buildings where we work, are there people who are invisible?  Are they the person who swept the floor while we slept?  Are they the person who made the coffee before anyone got to work?  Are they the person who sits silently in the house next door, but has been out of work for two years?
    There are people all around Jesus in this passage today.  There are disciples, townspeople, probably, but not stated, leaders of the Synagogue, a lot of people.  His disciples do not see the blind man’s need.  The crowd does not bring the blind man to Jesus.  It is Jesus who needs to see the blind man, Bartimeus, and come to his aid.  So, don’t feel badly that you are in great company of those who did not see the need.  Yet, you can turn now, identify the need, and heal the one around you that you once were blind to, but now you see.  Amen?  Amen.
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