In the Gospel for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus heals the blind Bartimaeus. “So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.’ He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way” (Mark 10: 49-52). Jesus healed his physical blindness. Jesus also healed him spiritually. Bartimaeus sees Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises. He has faith and trust in Jesus. He drops everything (his cloak) to follow Jesus. What do you need to see Jesus more clearly? Trust more in him?

In the Gospel for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus invites the rich young man to follow him. “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions” (Mark 10: 21-22). Jesus invites us to follow him wholeheartedly. Like the rich young man, we cling to our worldly securities: money, status, power, prestige, routines, and more. Jesus wants us to love with an undivided heart. What is holding you back from loving God? Others?

In the Gospel for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus challenges the OT Law permitting a husband to divorce his wife. “The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, ‘Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He said to them in reply, ‘What did Moses command you?’  They replied, ‘Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.’ But Jesus told them, ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female’ ” (Mark 10: 2-6). Jesus objected to a law that treated married women like property to be dismissed by their husbands. God endowed every human being with dignity. Whatever one’s gender identification, we are all members of the human family beloved by God. Everyone deserves love and respect because God made us all. How do you honor the God-given dignity of those different from you?

In the Gospel for the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus welcomes anyone who does good in his name. “John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.’ Jesus replied, ‘Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us’ ” (Mark 9: 38-40). John thinks that no one outside the inner circle of apostles can minister in the name of Jesus. Jesus disagrees. Helping others is helping Christ. We are all a little like John. We think we have a corner on the Holy Spirit. We want kudos for being a good Christian. We resent others gettting credit for doing good. Our jealousy reveals our true motives. We are doing good for personal gain. Jesus wants us to do good because it is the loving thing to do. We do good not for ourselve, but for God and others. Whoever does good for those in need does good for God. What is your motive for helping others?

In the Gospel for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. “He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, ‘Ephphatha!‘ — that is, ‘Be opened!’ — and immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly” (Mark 7: 33-35).  Jesus offers us the same healing when we are deaf to the plea of a homeless beggar, request of a shut-in relative for a visit, sobs of a mother for her child killed by gun violence, warnings of a friend thinking about suicide, and all the cries of the poor. How open are you to the needs of our brothers and sisters? How can God help you be more open?

In the Gospel for ther Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus calls the Pharisees and scribes hypocrites. “So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, ‘Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?’ He responded, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition'” (Mark 7: 5-8). Jesus criticizes them for their phony religious lifestyle. They pay lip service to God by presenting their teachings about ritual washing as God’s commandment. Jesus knew that God’s law was about loving God and neighbor, not about following rules. I had rigidly imposed my rules and regulations on my young adult sons. I expected them to do things my way. I got angry when they did not return every one of my phone calls. My anger got in the way of loving them. I had to learn how to follow God’s law, not my own. I began to love them differently as maturing young men. I have been trying to love them as God loves them. How has God helped you love others as God loves them, not as you expect them to love you?

In the Gospel for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus asks the Apostles to make a choice. “Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God’ ” (John 6: 68-69). Peter responds with a confession of faith and trust in Jesus. Like Peter, today’s disciples have tough decisions to make. Jesus asks us to have faith and trust in him at times of crisis. We face illness, deal with grief, struggle to find a job, accompany an addict in recovery, raise children, and struggle with many other challenges of life. How has Jesus helped you through a crisis?

In the Gospel for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus gives of himself as food to nourish us in this life and to give us eternal life. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (John 6: 51). Christ continues to give of himself to the world through those who celebrate Eucharist. Christ calls us to share his love we experience at Eucharist. Pope Francis says (Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ) that we cannot break bread on Sunday without opening our hearts to love others. We cannot partake of the Bread without feeding the hungry. We cannot share the Bread without sharing in the sufferings of others. How are you bread broken for others?

In the Gospel for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus offers himself as the bread of life. “So they said to him, ‘What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?  Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ So Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst’ ” (John 6: 30-31, 35). The love of Jesus nourishes me. Food and drink sustains my body. Jesus’ loving care sustains my faith, hope, and love. Jesus nourishes my faith in God’s love, my hope in God’s provident care, and my love for all God’s people. My faith in God gives my life purpose. My hope in God engenders my reliance on God. My love for God inspires me to give of myself in the service of others. How is Jesus food for your life?

In the Gospel for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus feeds 5000. “One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to [Jesus], ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people recline.’ Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted” (John 6: 8-10a, 11).  Jesus did great things with the young boy’s small amount of food. God does great things with what we share with others. God works with even our simplest gifts. When we give of ourselves, we make a difference in others’ lives. Through our love for others, God accomplishes great things. What do you have to share with others?