Pope Francis on October 28, 2018, spoke of the components of a journey of faith in his homily for the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the closing of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “Young people, faith, and vocational discernment.
The Holy Father referred to the gospel of the day from the 10th chapter of Mark, the story of Bartimaeus, the blind man who was healed. He explains the three “fundamental steps” on a journey of faith.
First comes listening. That is what Jesus did first with the blind man; he listened to his needs. And he did this even though many of the apostles didn’t want to bother with him.
“The children of the heavenly Father are concerned with their brothers and sisters, not with useless chatter, but with the needs of their neighbors,” Francis explained. They listen patiently and lovingly, just as God does to us and to our prayers, however repetitive they may be.”
The second step after listening is to be a neighbor, the Pope said. That is what Jesus did with Bartimaeus.
“Jesus is completely taken up with Bartimaeus; he does not try to sidestep him. …me to do – not simply to speak, but to do something. …for you – not according to my own preconceived ideas, but for you, in your particular situation,” Pope Francis continued. “That is how God operates. He gets personally involved with preferential love for every person. By his actions, he already communicates his message. Faith thus flowers in life.”
And the third step on the journey of faith? The Holy Father concludes with bearing witness. When Jesus tells the disciples to call Bartimaeus, they don’t dismiss him but say Jesus is calling him.
“So many children, so many young people, like Bartimaeus, are looking for light in their lives. They are looking for true love,” Francis told the congregation. “And like Bartimaeus who in the midst of that large crowd called out to Jesus alone, they too seek life, but often find only empty promises and few people who really care.”