One of the voices that can never be silenced in us is the voice that cries out seeking to see. We spend our whole lives crying out as Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel: “Master, I want to see.” And just as the crowd and even the disciples could not silence his desires, so nothing will silence that desire in our own hearts and souls. We want to see the truth, we want to see Jesus, we want to see the world as it really is, we want to see our way out of our current messed-up situation, we want to see the end of suffering, we want to see peace, we want to see wholeness, and maybe most of all we want to see ourselves. As we really are. As God sees us. This is our lifelong task.
St. Augustine spoke of that very same task in his Confession. He said, speaking to God: “I will confess, therefore, what I know of myself, and also what I do not know. The knowledge that I have of myself, I possess because you have enlightened me; while the knowledge of myself that I do not yet possess will not be mine until my darkness shall be made as the noonday sun before your face.” He goes on to say that he can try to hide from God if he wanted to, but it would never work. Hiding from God would only result in hiding God from himself. God sees the depths of our being, so if we try to hide all we really end up doing is running away from God who knows us at our very core.
The writer of our first reading had this idea in mind when he said:
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
God is calling us all out of darkness today. He wants us to see him, and ourselves, as we were created to be. He wants us to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own. He created us from glory. And we won’t experience that glory until we go through the rather painful experience of bringing all of our darkness out into the light. Maybe we’re not ready for that yet. But we can pray to become ready, and to be open. We can pray in the words of Bartimaeus: “Master, I want to see!”