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Homily by Bishop O'Connell: Our Bartimaeus Moment

BORDENTOWN, NJ, May 30 — On the last morning of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage in the Diocese of Trenton, Bishop David O'Connell, CM, celebrated Mass in a full St. Mary Mother of the Church Parish in Bordentown.

During the Mass, he preached a homily on the Gospel from Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time, featuring the encounter of Jesus with Bartimaeus. Bishop O'Connell called the Eucharistic Pilgrimage in particular, and the Eucharistic Revival in general, our "Bartimaeus moment."

Here is the homily he preached.


As we draw our portion of the Eucharistic Revival Pilgrimage to a close here in the Diocese of Trenton, we express our gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist for the gift and grace of his Real Presence in the celebrations of Holy Mass, reserved in the tabernacles and adoration chapels of our parish churches, shared with the sick in the distribution of Holy Communion. 

The Eucharistic Revival has been here and will continue to be for the Church in our country a time of encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ who desires to be so intimately united to us that he has given us his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity from the time of that first Holy Thursday until this very moment.

In our Gospel reading from St. Mark today, we are introduced to Bartimaeus, a blind man who sat by the road begging as Jesus and his followers were leaving Jericho on their journey. 

Learning of Jesus’ presence, Bartimaeus began to cry out to him, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” 

He obviously knew Jesus’ name and who he was.  “Have pity on me, Son of David.’ 

The followers of Jesus were intent on sparing him from the interruption. Jesus, however, was not. 

“What do you want me to do for you? Jesus questioned. 

“I want to see!” 

Jesus granted his request and Mark tells us, “He immediately received him sight” and set out to follow Jesus.

The Eucharistic Revival and this pilgrimage that we are sharing with people of faith throughout our country is our “Bartimaeus moment.” 

Jesus, in the most Holy Eucharist, is present to us.  Like Bartimaeus, we know his name and who he is.  He is with us, fully alive, fully present.  Because of our faith, we encounter this Jesus of the Gospels and call out to him, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” 

Perhaps our lives and their circumstances present particular challenges to us; maybe not physical blindness, but maybe some spiritual weakness or disability; maybe some other challenge to our faith.

In the Eucharist, Jesus is ever with us.  In our encounter, in our experience, listen to him.  Don’t let anything or anyone interrupt you from calling out. 

“What do you want me to do for you?” — how much we long to hear those words from Jesus' mouth! 

In this Eucharistic Revival and pilgrimage — our “Bartimaeus moment” — we need to respond, “Master, I want to see.” 

In this Eucharistic bread and wine, we want to see the Lord Jesus.

We want to know the Lord Jesus by name, who he is and what he offers.

We want to call hm by name. 

We want to be saved by him and our faith in him … and continue on our way inspired, saved, transformed by our encounter with him.

What do we hope and pray will be the fruit of this Eucharistic Revival and pilgrimage?

“What do you want him to do for you, for us, for our Diocese, for our Church?”

Reinvigorated worship in active, devout attendance at Mass, time spent in Eucharistic adoration, growing in our understanding of the Eucharist and sharing that understanding with others by inviting them to join with us in our Eucharistic journey of faith.

Our responsorial psalm today offers us this invitation: “Come with joy into the presence lf the Lord.” 

Let’s do that … together.


To watch the Bishop O'Connell's homily, the entire Mass, and the post-mass Eucharistic procession, please click below.


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