Monday, October 26, 2009
In response to Michael's"curio[sity]", occasioned by my report from the ND v. BC game, two quick thoughts: First, it's easy for me to imagine that the Irish players were not "petitioning" God, but instead thanking him for the wonderful privilege of playing football on a Fall day in Notre Dame stadium. But, assuming they were petitioning, I figure they had pretty good authority -- Merton notwithstanding -- for doing so.
UPDATE: A reader writes:
The Gospel reading for Sunday . . . was the story of Bartimaeus. In this reading, Jesus turns to the blind man and says, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to Christ, “Master, let me see again.”
Note that Jesus asked not, “What do you want me to do?” but “What do you want me to do *for you*?” He *expects* Bartimaeus to petition Christ to heal his ailment, as to so many wounded and hurting people in the Gospels. I don’t see where this text gives us room to find that Jesus did this only as a concession to the weakness of Bartimaeus’ faith. As if a deep, reflective blind man would have asked for world peace instead.
Jesus of course mourns the great evils in the world. But he is still interested in our own personal pains, small though they might be by comparison. What a great mercy that our God . . . still wishes to hear our petitions, bind our wounds, and forgive our sin.