Today’s Gospel is the story of blind Bartimaeus. Sitting by the roadside begging, when he hears that Jesus is passing by he begins to cry out to him. Despite the attempts by the people around to shut him up, he keeps crying out for Jesus, who calls for Bartimaeus to be brought t him. Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What do you want? Jesus asks this so often of the people he meets. What do you want me to do for you? And he asks the same question of us.
One of the dynamics of Iganatian prayer is asking for a grace. We begin each prayer period asking God for what we need, for what we desire most deeply. We ask God for the blessing we need from him. The purpose of asking for grace is to create a disposition for openness, making more available to receive God. Asking for a grace reveals our dependence in the best sense of that word, that is, in knowing that we need help that only God can give us.
When we ask for a grace, we are getting in touch with our deepest desires. This is not a time for editing – it is not about what should I want but what do I really want. (We can only pray from our actual feelings.) We need to recognize that our deep desire originates in God’s heawrt, so when I name what I want, I name what God wants for me.
Jesus asks, What do you want? What do you want me to do for you? What is your response?