He Threw Aside His Cloak

I woke up this morning still thinking about a line in yesterday’s Gospel, the story of Jesus’ healing of the blind man Bartimaeus. It is a passage I have read and prayed with often.

What struck me when I listened to the reading at Mass yesterday was the description of Bartimaeus’ action when people told him Jesus was calling him. “He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” And that is the phrase that I woke up with this morning. He “threw aside his cloak.”

A begging blind man has very few possessions. And if you’ve seen homeless beggars on the street, you know that they guard their few possessions very carefully, keeping them close and carrying or pushing them around with them when they move from place to place.

But Bartimaeus was so anxious to meet Jesus, so excited to know that he had been called, that he threw aside what was probably one of his only possessions.

That the phrase stayed with me, suggests it is one worth praying with. Are we willing to drop everything when Jesus calls? Are we so excited for him and his healing touch that we can drop our need to control and guard our plans, our possessions, our everything?