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The scenario in today’s Gospel reminds me of the blind beggars in our streets with loudspeakers as they sing or play the guitar so they can be heard. They say most of these beggars are enslaved by syndicates because they literally hold their necks and lead them to their kingdom, not of hope but of slavery. They house the beggars, but in turn demand steep dues from the alms they receive, leading them to a false paradise of slavery with little benefits.

We Christians are sometimes like this: we do not want to see. We just want to be slumped on the ground, shouting and begging at the top of our voices. This is literally our bread and butter. Yes we need our jobs to earn our bread. But we also need to work for the Bread of Life, and ask Jesus for eyes to see. But do we rather walk in the streets of everyday routine, backs bent by jobs simply to earn and pay all our dues, but have no desire to really exert ourselves in seeking and following Jesus?

We are stuck in the same lifestyle as other beggars: working for the world and turning our backs on Jesus, never asking Him to open our eyes that we may follow Him. This is Christianity nowdays: either half-listening, partially blinded, or totally blinded.

Bartimeus left his cloak, which was a symbol of his lifestyle of begging and depending on solicitation rather than having opened eyes, a changed lifestyle, and a renewed mind. This doesn’t mean we must leave our jobs and become full time church workers. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a full time worker for God or for your company. What really matters is that we live each day following Jesus with eyes already open, working the honest-to-goodness round-the-clock job of pleasing the Master who made us see, not pleasing ourselves or acting like the blind beggars in the street, manipulated by syndicates or dictated to by the world's system.

Which kind of beggar are we, and what cloak do we wear each day? Have we dropped the cloak of being blind, or are we still groping each day, pretending to be blind and allowing the world's cloak to manipulate and define us? Today, let's drop the old cloak of the spirit of heaviness and put on in its place the new garment of praise. Begin to worship Him, with eyes unblinded!

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