Anyone who looks up to God never ceases in that desire

Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus  (Mk. 10, 46 – 52)

They came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.  On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."  And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."  Jesus stopped and said,  "Call him."  So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, he is calling you."  He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.  Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"  The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."  Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."  Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.




Saint Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, in his Commentary on “The Life of Moses” explains why “no one can see the face of God and lives”.  It is because the one who sees the face of God is the one who is going in the opposite direction of God.  But if we want to survive we have tom follow in the footsteps of God, and thus we can only see his back,  If we do so, our life is assured.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa explains thus: -

“When, on Mount Sinai, Moses asked the Lord: «Let me see your glory!»  The Lord answered: «I will make all my beauty pass before you... But my face you cannot see» (Ex 33,18f).”

Such an experience seems to me belongs to the soul which loves what is beautiful.  Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen to what is beyond.

And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire asks this: to enjoy the Beauty not in mirrors and reflections, but face to face.

The divine voice granted what was requested in what was denied.  The munificence of God assented to the fulfillment of the desire but did not promise any cessation or satiety of the desire.  The true sight of God consists in this: that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire.  For he says: «You cannot see my face and live».

But when the Lord who spoke to Moses came to fulfill his own law, he likewise gave a clear explanation to his disciples, laying bare the meaning of what had previously been said in a figure when he said:
  • «If anyone wants to be a follower of mine « (Lk 9,23) and not "If any man will go before me."

    • And to the one asking about eternal life he proposes the same thing, for he says: «Come, follow me» (Lk 18,22).


    Now, he who follows sees the back.  So Moses, who eagerly seeks to behold God, is now taught how he can behold Him: to follow God wherever he might lead is to behold God.

    Someone who does not know the way cannot complete his journey safely in any other way than by following behind his guide.  He who leads, then, by his guidance shows the way to the one following.  He who follows will not turn aside from the right way if he always keeps the back of his leader in view.  For he who moves to one side or brings himself to face his guide assumes another direction for himself than the one his guide shows him.

    Therefore God says to the one who is led: «My face is not to be seen», that is, «Do not face your guide».  If he does so, his course will certainly be in the opposite direction.  You see how it is so great a thing to learn how to follow God.

    No longer does any offense which comes about through evil withstand the one who thus follows him.


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