Today’s Gospel from Mark tells the story of Jesus’ healing of a blind man. Bartimaeus is sitting by the roadside begging, as he has probably done day after day. When he hears that Jesus is passing by he begins to cry out to him. Despite the rebukes of the people around him, he keeps crying out for Jesus, who calls for Bartimaeus to be brought to him. Jesus asks him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
What do you want? In the Gospels we hear 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 of openness, of making ourselves more available to receive God. Asking for a grace acknowledges our dependence on God; it recognizes that we need help that only God can give us.
When we ask for a grace, we are articulating that which we most desire. It is not about what should I want but what do I really want. (We can only pray from our actual feelings.)
Jesus asks, What do you want? What do you want me to do for you? What is your response?