With the clocks having gone back an hour this morning, many of us will have taken advantage of the change and enjoyed a ‘lie in’ before the alarm clock roused us from sleep.

Interestingly, according to the John Lewis Retail Report published last week, sales of traditional alarm clocks are falling because people are abandoning them in favour of using their smartphones to get them up in the morning.

This reminds me of a priest who once advised in my seminary training that we should begin our day after the alarm woke us, with “Good morning, God” and not “Good God, morning!”

According to this John Lewis Report, clocks are just one of the things that Britons are leaving behind. Other items included small TVs — apparently bigger is always better, with the most popular TV screen now being a chunky 70 inches, compared with 36 inches in 2010. And the same is happening with smartphones as their screens get larger with every new model.

How our viewing habits are changing!

The Gospel today features a man who, if he had such things, would not have been able to see a clock face or a TV of any size. His name was Bartimaeus and the story of his restored sight is how this led to him becoming a disciple of Jesus. While Bartimaeus lacked physical sight he, nevertheless, had more perception or insight into Jesus than the other disciples. He had the eyes of faith and could ‘see’ who Jesus really was. He and St Peter are the only two people in St Mark’s Gospel who give Jesus the title’ Son of David’ i.e. Messiah.

After Bartimaeus heckled Jesus, the question Jesus put to him is an intriguing one: ‘what do you want me to do for you?’ Bartimaeus asked for physical sight but ended up getting more than he initially sought. His physical healing led him to becoming a disciple of Jesus and following him on the road to Jerusalem which Jesus was travelling from Jericho. This was a road, as Jesus persistently tried to explain to the other disciples, leading to Calvary – he was to be a Messiah who first suffered and not a herald of political power.

Jesus puts the same question to you and me: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Just what do you want Jesus to do for you? And what price are you prepared to pay for it?

Michael Campion
Holy Name, Jesus
28 October 2018