Jesus’s educational leadership inspired the faith of communities to make God’s presence visible by living the values of care, openness and respect. I believe Jesus demonstrated these values through both his words and actions.
The story of the Blind Beggar, Bartimaeus is evidence of Jesus’ compassion and empathy towards others. (Mark:46-52) in the narrative Bartimaeus is sitting by the roadside in Jericho. So, he is visible to a large crowd with Jesus and his disciples walking towards Jerusalem. Immediately, when he heard Jesus of Nazareth was coming, Bartimaeus shouts out “Son of David have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:48) He is rebuked by the many to stop calling out but calls out even louder. (Mark 10:49) How often because we are rebuked do we become less inclined to take risks when our voice like Bartimaeus needs to be heard? I think what this narrative points out is that Jesus always hears our voice.
Bartimaeus is also a great example of persistence as he keeps on shouting despite the opposition from the crowd? Bartimaeus’ perseverance through his faith acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God and has the power to heal him. The healing will not only cure him from his blindness but also enhance his economic status and allow him to seek employment rather than continue to beg. Furthermore, this is why perhaps the crowd scolded Bartimaeus for asking for a healing due to his low economic and social status.
Jesus then asks for the people to call him over and on hearing that Jesus wants to speak to him Bartimaeus springs up and comes to Jesus.
Jesus says, what do you want me to do for you? Bartimaeus replies, my teacher, let me see again. Then Jesus said, “Go your faith has made you well. Immediately, Bartimaeus regained his sight. (Mark:49-52) What I particularly like about this story is Bartimaeus’ asking for Jesus’ help. I would argue that Bartimaeus is a great inspiration to me to ask God for help as too often I try to solve issues myself. Jesus demonstrates through this narrative that no matter the circumstances his respect, care and openness to others through healing a poor, blind man illustrates that Jesus’ salvation is available to everyone.
The bottom line for me in my role as an APRIM is to imitate Jesus and follow his teachings. I believe I demonstrate this by witnessing my faith, listening to the needs of others and acting sensitively, graciously and compassionately with everyone I encounter. Therefore, through being welcoming and inclusive of all staff, students, parents and members of the community I build relationships that are based on trust and openness. Ultimately, I make God visible within Holy Family by respecting and utilizing the gifts and talents of all and engaging each person in prayer, liturgies, masses and social justice. Thus, embracing the Gospel message of the Parable of the Sower and the narrative of Blind Bartimaeus to seek success for all seeds that fall in different areas regardless of their social and economic backgrounds and taking risks to share my faith even though I may endure hardship and failure. Isn’t that what teaching and learning is all about?