This Sunday, as the Church continues her walk through Ordinary Time, we hear a message of hope and peace.

The Scripture readings begin with an uplifting message from the prophet Jeremiah. He describes the restoration God bring to his people after a time of exile. The promise is epitomized by the blind who receive their sight. The Old Testament reading points us to the Lord Jesus who, we are told in the Gospel Reading today, restores the sight of the blind man Bartimaeus.

The dynamics of the two readings show the harmony between the Old Testament and New Testament. They also give us a clear message: God desires to care for us.

The message of the Scriptures is clear: we are not orphans. We live in a fallen world and so bad things happen. It means that we will have hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, pandemics, cancer, dementia, financial problems, betrayal, divorce, and other heart-breaking difficulties. If we allow the fallen state of this world to take over our hearts, it can lead us into desolation and even despair.

The fallenness of this world is strong and it seeks to overtake us, eclipse our hearts, and drag us into darkness. But we are not orphans. God cares for us and gives us the strength to fight, to persevere, and to be instruments of goodness. And this is our task. As the children of God, we are too good and too loved to wallow in the darkness of this fallen world. We have been called to the peace that comes from above.

And so when this fallen world wants us to believe that we are abandoned and no longer cared for, we can dismiss such thoughts and fill our minds with the truths of faith. God is with us and we are greatly loved. By God’s grace, we can conquer the suffering and hardships of this fallen world. God’s light dispels the darkness and gives us hope. This world’s difficulties and sorrows will pass, but God’s grace remains, and this is the source of our peace.

The Holy Spirit has been sent upon us, and his grace is being poured into our hearts. We have been strengthened and give everything that we need for goodness to triumph over evil and peace to vanquish anxiety.

We are called to continue to fan into flame the great hope and immense joy that has been given to us by God. We must regularly claim our inheritance as the children of God, and live according to his way of love and peace. We should not live or conduct ourselves as spiritual orphans.

We must stand firm and know who we are, realizing how much we are loved.

In speaking his prophecies, Jeremiah could never have imagined how abundantly they would be fulfilled. The reality of God becoming a man – living like us in all things but sin – and seeking to live our way of life and accompany us, healing us, absolving us, and showing us the most excellent way of love.

As the Lord Jesus walked the way of humanity, he visited Jericho. It was the ancient fortress of the Canaanite peoples. It was considered unconquerable and instilled fear in the hearts of many. But God did the unthinkable, he brought down the walls of Jericho and granted victory to his people.

Today, in the Gospel Reading, as the Lord is leaving this ancient city, a man without sight comes to him. He hails him by the title, “son of David,” and asks to see. After an exchange between the two, the Lord Jesus heals him. It was a sign that brought with it a powerful message: God will do the unimaginable to care for his people. He wants us to know of his love and care for us. He desires to give us his peace.

After the man was healed, we’re told that he immediately begins to follow the Lord Jesus. He is restored not only to his physical ability to see, but to a spiritual ability to see as well. This is the work that God wants to do for all his people.

As we continue to make our way through Ordinary Time, we are encouraged by the Church to see the love God has for us, to open our hearts, and to allow him to care for us and bless us.

Follow Father Jeffrey Kirby on Twitter: @fatherkirby