Mark 10: 46-52

Illustrated New Resources

  • Seeing

    by Dennis Hamm, SJ
    Even after we learn the basic physical skills of seeing, we continue to learn how to see. Early on we learn how to read expressions on faces. A pilot learns to read the sky better than most of us. An experienced nurse can see symptoms of illness the rest of us might miss. All of these dimensions of physical seeing have led many cultures to use physical sight as a metaphor for understanding. We do that spontaneously when we suddenly catch on to an explanation and say, 'Oh, now I see,' or even, paradoxically, 'I see what you're saying.'...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Faith

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • God's Will

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Jesus Heals Bartimaeus

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("A few years back, Jim Stovall decided to become a stockbroker. Even though he is blind, Jim has a determination and commitment to hard work that has helped him to transcend his disability. Jim also has a wife, Crystal, who supports and encourages him in everything he does..." and another illustration)
  • The Eyes of Faith

    by Sil Galvan
    "Fanny Crosby was blind but composed more than 8,000 songs. She could have wrapped herself in bitterness, because her blindness was not congenital. When she was only six weeks old, a doctor who treated a minor eye inflammation which she contracted was careless, and she became totally and permanently blind..." and other short illustrations
  • Proper 25B

    by Bill Loader
    always good insights!
  • Body and Soul

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Thirty years ago I met a man in Newton MA who was blind. He had been blinded at age 5, when he and his brother were throwing jackknives at the barn door. His knife hit handle-first, boomeranged back and got him in the eye. Infection took the other one, too..." and other illustrations - a worthy read!!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Mark 10:46-52)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 30B)

    by Various Authors
    ("A book I read in the spring Holy Ground: A Liturgical Cosmology by Gordon Lathrop - suggests an intentional connection between Bartimaeus and a writing by the philosopher Plato entitled 'Timaeus'..." and many other illustrations)

Narrative Sermons

[If you have any questions about navigating through the site (and for some helpful tips even if you do!), please check out our video guide. Just copy this link (https://www.loom.com/share/afe3352a69f44bff814af8b695701c5e) and paste it into your favorite browser.]

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2018 to 2020

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Why Is It So Hard for Us to Show Mercy?

    by Terrance Klein
    At the very beginning of the industrial revolution, when our Enlightenment confidence in science was still in full flower, the novelist Mary Shelley created a fictional scientist who declared: It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world. Shelley’s novel remains a classic, though the name of her creator scientist and his woeful creation are known far beyond its pages: Frankenstein...
  • Ordinary 30B (2018)

    by Tito Madrazo
    In addition to the pleas for wisdom, mercy, forgiveness, and healing that make up my usual litany, I have found myself squeaking over the past year on behalf of my friend Samuel Oliver-Bruno. Samuel is one of the many undocumented immigrants in the United States whose life has become much harder in recent years. Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement granted him a temporary work permit four years ago in light of his circumstances (Samuel’s wife has lupus and his son is a U.S. citizen), his application for renewal was denied in 2017. His appeal was also denied—in spite of the support and prayers of many. To avoid deportation, last December Samuel entered into the protective sanctuary offered to him by CityWell, a multicultural United Methodist church in Durham, North Carolina...
  • To See or Not to See

    by Jim McCrea
    My father once talked about a similar feeling he’d experienced once in a sea of rushing Christmas shoppers on a very crowded street in Pittsburgh. He wrote, “[…] in all that crowd, I did not see a single [face] I knew. Suddenly, a feeling of loneliness, like I have never known before or since, swept over me. Among all those thousands of people, intent on their own shopping, there was not a single one who knew or cared about me. “If I had dropped over dead, a few might have stopped momentarily, not out of concern or love for me, but merely because they were curious. “I did not think of it then, but this experience of mine does raise questions. What is one person in a great mass? Does an individual really count for anything? There is a rather cynical saying I once heard that if you want to know how much you’ll be missed, stick your finger in a pan of water and look at the hole that remains when you pull it back out.”...
  • Let Me See

    by Joe Pagano
    But sometimes learning to see can be hard work. In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard describes studies done on people who recovered their sight after years of blindness. These people were enabled to see after doctors had discovered how to perform safe cataract operations. Dillard writes, “In general the newly sighted see the world as a dazzle of color-patches… [they] learn quickly to name the colors, but the rest of seeing is tormentingly difficult.” These people have no idea of space or distance and so they walk around bumping into the sharp edges of the color patches and only then realize that they are part of something substantial. Some people find their new sense of sight so difficult and frustrating that they refuse to use their new vision, and lapse into their old ways of perceiving things. A doctor reported of one twenty-one year old woman who had regained her sight: “Her unfortunate father, who had hoped for so much from this operation, wrote that his daughter carefully shuts her eyes whenever she wishes to go about the house, especially when she comes to a staircase, and she is never happier or more at ease than when, by closing her eyelids, she relapses into her former state of total blindness.”...
  • Seeing in a Deeper Way

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Sometimes you can see a whole lot of things just by looking. That’s one of Yogi Berra’s infamous aphorisms. It’s a clever expression of course, but, sadly, perhaps mostly, the opposite is truer. Mostly we do a whole lot of looking without really seeing much. Seeing implies more than having good eyesight. Our eyes can be wide open and we can be seeing very little...
  • The Cracked Vessel

    by Jacklyn Schofield
    There’s a story about a young man who wanted all of his life to be a minister. As he was about to enter seminary, he was in a terrible car accident and was left a paraplegic. He was heartbroken. He asked God how could he serve as God’s vessel if he was broken. And God answered. Can’t you see my Holy Water pouring through your cracks? I know just how that young man felt. I have Lupus. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it is an auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks the body. My Lupus likes to attack my eyes and I lost part of the vision in my right eye when I was in my thirties. Years later, I felt called to serve God and I enrolled in seminary. I was so excited to start school. The first few days of school I kept crying with joy at the prospect of being a vessel for God’s living water. But then I began to notice that I couldn’t read my books. I was getting another eye inflammation. And then my left eye hemorrhaged. The retinas of both eyes were left with permanent scars. My central vision was almost completely destroyed. I was blind...
  • Let Me See Again

    by Debie Thomas
    I love that Jesus heals the spiritual blindness of the surrounding crowd. Though Bartimaeus is the literally blind man in the story, it’s the crowd — the blind man’s friends, his peers, his culture, his society — that renders him unseen. To their seeing eyes, the blind man by the roadside is invisible, and therefore expendable. His shouts and cries are not worthy of attention. His suffering is not important enough to warrant tenderness, patience, or even curiosity. When the invisible one dares to speak out, the only efficient and reasonable thing to do is to shut him up. The only priority is to restore order, re-establish the social hierarchy, and maintain a status quo that keeps the privileged comfortable. But that comfort is precisely what Jesus renders impossible. Once the crowd sees Bartimaeus, they can’t unsee him. Once Jesus opens their eyes to his full humanity, they must respond with compassion: “Take heart; get up; he is calling you.” I don’t know this for sure, but I suspect that Jesus heals the crowd first so that they can, in turn, participate in Bartimaeus’s healing. What the blind man needs is not physical sight alone; he also needs visibility and validation within his community. In this double miracle story, Jesus grants him both...
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 25B)(2018)

    by Leonard Vander Zee
    “Ordinary Grace,” a novel by William Kent Kreuger could serve as a wonderful preparation for preaching on this text. In it he tells the story of a minister’s family in small town Minnesota ripped apart by fear, injustice, and grief. The minister at the heart of the story, Pastor Drum, is a living portrait of what mercy looks like in the midst of human misery and suffering, and how the crowds around try to shut down mercy in favor of rejection or revenge. But through all his suffering and loss, through all his caring for his needy and hypocritical congregation, he keeps up a continuing conversation with God, a constant Kyrie Eleison.
  • Mercy Now

    by Tim Willis
    Several years ago I met a man who came into my life after I had lost two good friends in a six month period. One had been murdered and the other died from Leukemia. We met through a mutual friend and I talked about how I was so blinded by grief. He began to share his own story as a high school drop out to get away from an abusive father. He told of his Vietnam experience and while there experimenting with drugs. He ventured further into the drug world and began a life of using and smuggling. This led to two stints in prison and a broken marriage. He met our mutual friend, after being in a half way house, at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. It was at that meeting that he said he began to see again for the first time. His addiction had kept him blinded and trapped for over twenty-five years. It was fellow addicts who helped him get off the byway and onto the recovery way. He told me that it was God’s love and mercy radiating through their kindness and acceptance that restored his sight. He continues a life of recovery and helping others to see again. He helped me get through a rough stretch of grief and our friendship has been about helping each other “see again.”...
  • Images of Healing

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Healing

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2015 to 2017

  • Dreaming of Happiness

    by Jim Chern
    What do you want me to do for you?' Jesus asks us today... What is it that in our heart of hearts we seek? What is the happiness we desire, we dream of? What does that look like? How does that take shape? St. John Paul II in the year 2000 as he met with Young People at the World Youth Day of that time answered it this way: 'It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you;...
  • Proper 25B (2015)

    by Delmer Chilton
    Realizing that there are no real throw-away lines in the Gospel stories, we must listen carefully to verse 50: 'So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus.' 'Throwing off his cloak'- what might that mean? Remember how frequently in the Bible clothing represents one's life, one's character or one's spirituality. Not just Paul's 'helmet of salvation' and 'breastplate of righteousness' but references to 'unshrunk cloth on an old cloak' and or arriving at the feast wearing the wrong wedding garments...") (Scroll down the page for this sermon.)
  • Bible Leads (Proper 25B)(2015)

    from Deeply Plaid
    includes 4 video links and reflection questions
  • Encore un Moment

    by Terrance Klein
    there are moments when we are shaken by life itself: the loss of a career, a diagnosis, a divorce, the death of a loved one. Then we plead for mercy, even to the God who—we once said—doesn't exist. Then the words of blind Bartimaeus become our own. Problem is, nothing happens. At least, that's what the skeptic says...
  • All Once Strangers in a Strange Land

    by Nicholas Lang
    In her book, The Spiritual Child, Columbia University Professor Lisa Miller, tells a story about a day when she entered a subway car that was crowded and the other half empty—except for a homeless man with some fast food on his lap, screaming at anyone who came close. A grandmother and young granddaughter entered—both dressed to the nines and with fancy gloves. The homeless guy screamed, “Hey, do you want to sit with me?” They looked at each other, nodded, and replied, “Thank you”—and unlike everyone else sat down near him. He offered them some chicken from his bag. They looked at each other, nodded, and said, “No, thank you.” The homeless man offered a few more times and each time they nodded to each other and gave the same polite response. Finally, he was calmed and they all sat contently in their seats...
  • Throwing Away the Cloak

    by Anne Le Bas
    Mark tells us that after Bartimaeus had regained his sight, he 'followed [Jesus] on the way'. Long before Christians were called Christians they were called 'Followers of the Way'. That is what Jesus had taught – a way – not a set of doctrines, but a way to live your life so that God's love could be seen in it. It was all about action, not philosophy. That was obvious from the pattern of his own ministry. You literally had to be a follower if you wanted to learn from him...
  • What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

    by Peter Lockhart
    what might we learn from the two interactions: the first between Jesus and two of his disciples, James and John: and, the second, between Jesus and the blind beggar named Bartimeaus. When Jesus asks James and John, "What do you want me to do for you?" their response revolves around personal glory. Central to Bartimaeus' desire then is that Jesus will have mercy on him and restore his sight...
  • Bartimaeus, the Entertainer?

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    The theme of the blind musician is a reasonably common theme in art. John Singer Sargent, Georges de la Tour and Ben Shahn among other artists, have explored this theme in their paintings. The theme may have some root in the legend of St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians...
  • Seeing Through the Metaphors

    by Andrew Prior
    includes several quotes and interesting observations on the text
  • Seeing in This World

    by Nancy Rockwell
    Jesus responded to Bartimaeus' vision. Sightless Bartimaeus had the gifts ancients have long ascribed to the blind – insight, perceptiveness, and wisdom. Jesus called these gifts Bartimaeus' faithfulness. It is this vision Bartimaeus saw in Jesus, and Jesus loved in him. This vision, which every refugee on rubber boats and walking along train tracks in Hungary, is clinging to. It is Godly sight, and it is the will of God that all of us recognize it in the needy of the world, who hold in their hearts and wills our mutual future, the tomorrow we cannot yet see...
  • Seeing in the Dark: Celebrating the Innocence of Bartimaeus

    by Anna Shirey
    I am mindful of a story I heard several years ago about a woman who wandered into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. It was Christmas eve, and she was drunk. She stumbled into the meeting with her two children in tow and then, right in the middle, broke out singing Silent Night. I would suggest this woman was a Bartimaeus. She came to the community not because she was healed; in fact, she came drunk, in the midst of her sickness...
  • Seeing Clearly

    by Keith Wagner
    "David Hartman went blind at the age of eight. His dream to become a medical doctor was thwarted by Temple University Medical School, when he was told that no one without eyesight had ever competed medical school. He courageously faced the challenge of reading medical textbooks by having all of them audio-recorded. At twenty seven, David Hartman became the first blind student ever to complete medical school...." and other short illustrations

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2009 to 2014

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Mystery of Human Affliction

    by Phil Bloom
    ["I will give one example - a boy named Diego, who has an affliction of his eyes. His family works making bricks and the dust, combined with the direct sunlight (Puno is 16 degrees south of the equator) has damaged his eyes..."]
  • Bartimaeus

    by Nancy Bresette
    ("A story is told about Fiorello LaGuardia, who was mayor of New York City during the worst days of the Great Depression and all of W.W.II. LaGuardia was a hands on mayor who used to ride the New York City fire trucks, raid speakeasies with the police department, take entire orphanages to baseball games...")
  • Blind Bartimaeus

    by Chris Brundage
    ("Johann Sebastian Bach, the great composer, was poor as a young man. He was orphaned by the age of ten and had to make his way in the world alone. One day, when Bach was a teenager, he was walking to a city where he would study music. He stopped at an inn, thinking he'd get something to eat, but he realized it was too pricey for him. So he sat down on the side of the street to rest...")
  • Surviving Seeing

    by Kimberleigh Buchanan
    ("Consider photojournalist Kevin Carter's story. In 1993, while covering the famine in the Sudan, Carter took a picture of a small girl who had collapsed while walking to a food station. Just a few feet behind the starving girl, a vulture stalked her. In May of 1994, Carter won a Pulitzer Prize for the photograph. Two months later, he committed suicide...")
  • Seeing Clearly

    by Erik Gernand
    ("A couple of years ago, some good friends of ours had a child named Ben who developed a lazy eye when he was almost two years old. When his parents took him to the optometrist, they found out that Ben's vision was so bad, the muscles in his eyes were pulling his eyes in different directions to try to compensate...")
  • The Beggar Who Asks

    by Walter Harms
    A famous person was leaving the opera and was confronted by a beggar. He gave the man some money. The famous person's companion for the evening asked why he gave to such a person who would probably use it to buy liquor to warm himself on the cold evening...
  • Take Heart

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • To See What Is Possible

    by Rex Hunt
    The shocked family was standing on the footpath in front of their house, watching the firemen swarming in and out. A grease fire had severely damaged the kitchen and smoke was saturating everything they owned. They watched in dismay as the fire was put out. Holes in the walls. Scorched ceilings. Broken crockery. A real mess awaited them. Suddenly a pizza delivery car pulled up next to the curb, and a young bloke jumped out carrying one of those large pizza delivery bags. The father of the family looked puzzled: “Sorry mate! You must have the wrong address. None of us ordered a pizza, and besides, my wallet was in my coat pocket - in the kitchen”. The delivery bloke smiled, shock his head and said: “Yea, I know you didn’t order this. But I saw you all just standing there and I had to do something. “There’s no charge. Just take it easy and have something to eat”. And with that he jumped back into his car and sped off as the astonished family watched...
  • Now That You Can See

    by Beth Johnston
    "Many years ago, in theological school, I took a course called Ministry With Women. It was mostly about ministering to women in the difficult times of their lives; raising children in poverty, family violence and discrimination were a few of the topics we discussed and dissected..."
  • Flaws and Calls and Healing

    by Phyllis Kersten
    ("The recent death of Senator Ted Kennedy and the celebration of his life by those who knew him well—family, colleagues, clergy, political observers—broadened the question for me to include flaws along with calls and healing...")
  • I Want to See

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Sister Leopoldina Burns recorded the event many years later, when she was more than 65 years old. Her English is a bit hard-pressed, because she wrote late at night. Twenty years in Hawaii, and she was still working long days as a nurse. 'A short distance from the office they entered a long narrow building made of rough boards and they were whitewashed, this is the lepers dining room he said...")
  • To See or Not to See

    by Jim McCrea
    "When I started junior high school, I met one of most unforgettable people I’ve ever known — someone I’ll call 'John'. 'John' was in all the accelerated classes because he was smart enough to be able to handle the intellectual stimulus, although the truth is that he one of the most socially-awkward people I’ve ever encountered..."
  • Give Us Vision, Lord!

    by Robert Morrison
    ("On Monday night I heard part of a piano recital on the radio. As recitals go, it was entrancing. The music was interesting, amusing, exciting – everything to hold one's attention. The pianist was obviously in complete control, yet seemed open to however the Spirit might be leading him to interpret what the composer had chosen to set down...")
  • Ordinary 30B (2009)

    by Joseph Parrish
    ("So on a hunch, I put into my internet search engine the phrase 'blind now see', and lo and behold I pulled up more than a half a dozen stories about people, and animals, who once were blind but now see, and a whole spectrum of experiences. I was tipped off about this on the random chance I happened to read a sermon by Barbara Brown Taylor...")
  • Call Him (Me) Here!

    by Larry Patten
    ("listen to Cat Stevens' rousing, bittersweet 1970 song Moonshadow: 'And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry, Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if . . . I won't have to cry no more.' I wonder, as I read about blind Bartimaeus longing for sight or listen to blunt, hopeful lyrics about transforming obstacles into opportunities, how much time, in my waking hours, do I ignore the world around me?...)
  • Proper 25B (2009)

    by Debbie Royals
    ("Recipe for success: one part awareness, one part knowledge, one part motivation, one part action. Slowly add one ingredient at a time, gradually and with care. Then begin again. Note: you may be inspired to start over at any point in the process...")
  • The True Universal Health Care

    by Susan Sparks
    ("If you consider our scripture this week in light of some of the newspaper headlines, especially that of the healthcare debate that this nation has been through in the past year, it takes on an entirely new light...")
  • Squeaky Wheels

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Have you seen any of those video-tapes that chronicle the tireless, sometimes hilarious, often balletic attempts of the wily squirrel to beat all the safety devices humans install to keep them away from the birdseed?...")
  • Sight for Sore Eyes

    by Keith Wagner
    ("One time there was a little eight-year-old boy who went to his country schoolhouse early every morning to start the fire. The schoolhouse was heated by an old-fashioned, potbellied coal stove. One morning when the students arrived for school they found the schoolhouse engulfed in flames. They found the little boy unconscious, lying on the floor but dragged him to safety..." and another illustration)
  • Proper 25B (2009)

    by Martin Warner
    ("I recently experienced this sort of attentive watching in an almost involuntary way in the National Theatre's production of Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht. It was not, I have to confess, the content of the play so much as the power of Fiona Shaw's interpretation of the lead character that was utterly mesmerising...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • How Eager Are You?

    by Susan Andrews
    ("Will Campbell, a wise, earthy, Baptist preacher, tells a story about his own awakening vision as a follower of Jesus. When he was a teenager growing up in rural Mississippi, he witnessed a classic redneck lynching. A black man was caught stealing at the mayor's house..." and another illustration)
  • "Peepholes" Into the Kingdom of God

    by Hubert Beck
    ("Consider the miracles in this way: Like 'peepholes' in protecting walls around an excavation for a new building, providing interested spectators an opportunity to see what is going on, the miracles are 'peepholes' permitting us to 'see into' the Kingdom of God and what it means to be a citizen thereof...")
  • Get Yourself in Trouble

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Trouble is sometimes a great good. You can see it in the life of the great Russian author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He was born the year after the Bolsheviks came to power. As a child he was surrounded by Communist propaganda and grew up an untroubled, contented atheist...")
  • What Do We Want?

    by John Bluett
    ("I got an e-mail the other day that gave a pretty good account of all the things we have. Amazingly enough, don't get nervous, it was written by George Carlin, the outrageous comedian of the 70's and 80's. When he wrote this his wife had recently died. He said: 'The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints... ")
  • Jesus Stopped

    by Patrick Brennan
    ("Biographers tell us that Martin Luther suffered from bouts with depression. In a time without sophisticated anti-depressant drugs, Luther had to learn to catch himself going into a difficult emotional period, and then take steps to stabilize his inner world...")
  • To See What Is Possible

    by Larry Broding
    ("In the time of Jesus, the phrase 'have mercy' meant to pay debts; when the debtor paid his or her creditor, he or she was 'having mercy' on the creditor. Through God's eyes, the healthy and the well-off have a social debt to pay to the sick and the poor...")
  • Proper 25B (2003)

    by Thea Joy Browne
    "There is a biography in print of a notorious crime figure who had been kidnapped and hidden from his family for months. After notifying his son of the time and place of his impending release, his captors released him into a grocery store. The father, a man who had always prided himself in his appearance, was still a fugitive from the law, so he was disguised ..."
  • Proper 25B (2006)

    from Center for Excellence in Preaching
    Like several New Testament healing stories involving the blind, so also here in Mark 10 we see this blind man named Bartimaeus recover his sight and then immediately start to walk around like a typical sighted-person. However, as neurologists like Oliver Sacks point out, if it really happened this way, then this once-blind man was the recipient of a double-miracle...
  • Reaching Out

    by Tom Cox
    ("To Bartimaeus and us, the advice is still good: Have courage, Get up and follow. A blind man who viewed the world from his limited viewpoint, risked, rose and followed. He may not have had sight, but he had insight. Do we?...")
  • Seeing Is Believing

    by Patricia de Jong
    "This past week I read an article about the first people in the world who, blind from birth, underwent successful cataract surgery. You can imagine the wonder with which they saw for the first time-the world. A sunset, a rose, an evergreen or birch tree-can you imagine seeing their beauty for the first time?..."
  • Seeing God's Mercy

    by Gawain de Leeuw
    ("The consequence of globalization is the recognition that individuals might see the same object, photograph or event, but respond differently. A photo of a soldier in Iraq could inspire fear, sympathy, admiration or despair. The desert can be strange, hot and uncomfortable, or it could be home...")
  • Self-Realization in Christ

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("There is an old African fable about how the duck learnt to swim. Duck and Hen lived together in a house by the seaside. Their food was the rotten fish that the fishermen threw away. Everyday they saw Heron swimming up and down the sea, catching and eating fresh fish...")
  • The Faith to Ask and the Faith to Follow

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("Fred Collier was a medical student in the Army Specialized Training Corps in 1945 when World War II ended. He was from a Kansas family that didn't have the kind of money he needed to complete medical school on his own. And so when he mustered out of the army, he had no idea how he'd ever finish school, if indeed he'd ever finish it all...")
  • Seeing Is Not Always Believing

    by Jill Friebel
    ("There is a documentary on at the moment about Dietrich Bonhoffer a German Lutheran Pastor who was the only person in his time that publicly confronted the evil ideology that Hitler and the Germany people believed, including the mainline Christian churches...")
  • Ordinary 30B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    Once upon a time a very wealthy Yuppie and his girl friend went on a trip to Africa to hunt lions – with a camera because they were politically correct Yuppies They were shocked and disgusted by the poverty, the corruption, the hunger, and the sickness of the people in these countries...
  • Eyes

    by George Griffin
    ("In the 1960's Doris Day recorded a song that did not achieve any real popularity called Through the of Love: 'I have looked at you / Many times, my darling, I have looked at you...")
  • What Do You Want?

    by Roy Howard
    When I was a boy there was only one theater in town. On Saturday mornings my friends and I would ride our bicycles through the neighborhood over the Watson bayou bridge across town to the old Martin Theater. We'd arrive out of breath, just in time for the first matinee. The man behind the glass window took our fifty cents, and we would gladly leave the light of day to enter the dark theater. The thick velvet curtain parted and suddenly we were in the world of Godzilla, Cinderella, The Three Stooges and The Ten Commandments. We ate greasy popcorn and Milk Duds. The floor was coated with gooey things. For two hours it was another world. Then the lights went on and we made our way up the aisle to the sound of shoes sticking to the floor. I don't know how long he had been there, but I remember when I first saw him. Coming out of the theater with a bunch of boys pushing and shoving, we round the corner and here he stands against the wall. How many times have I walked past him? He wears a heavy coat, ripped at the seams, baggy gray pants and work boots. Tobacco stains his chin and shirt. His hair is wild, too and thin. His eyes have the glaze of blindness, milky white, half-shut, strange. A dog stands by his feet, near the tin cup. The red-tipped walking stick leans against the wall. Whenever he hears coins clang in the metal cup, he says thank-you and plays another tune on his accordion. As far as I can tell, the blind beggar never moves from this street corner by the theater...
  • To See What Is Possible in the New

    by Rex Hunt
    ("The shocked family was standing on the footpath in front of their house, watching the firemen swarming in and out. A grease fire had severely damaged the kitchen and smoke was saturating everything they owned. They watched in dismay as the fire was put out. Holes in the walls. Scorched ceilings. Broken crockery. A real mess awaited them. Suddenly a pizza delivery car pulled up next to the curb..." and other quotes)
  • Let Me See Again!

    by John Jewell
    ("Have you ever had a time when your vision was threatened? It is a frightening experience. Through complications with a medical problem, my wife developed what her doctor called 'a slight stroke' in her left eye. The vision in her left eye deteriorated and we were waiting to see if this complication was also going to involve her right eye...")
  • I Want to See

    by Beth Johnston
    "One of the most popular call-in shows on the last half of Maritime Noon is the Genealogy Call-In with Terry Punch. People call in and ask where their families came from or how they came to use the names they did. Terry tells us that surnames are a relatively new phenomenon..."
  • Seeing Again for the First Time

    by Beth Johnston
    The other night I picked up a marvellous little book by the retired Anglican Archbishop of Capetown, South Africa. In this book, titled God Has a Dream Desmond Tutu reflects on his years living under the oppressive system called apartheid and his country's transition to greater peace and freedom...
  • Ordinary 30B (2006)

    by Cesar Marin, SJ
    ("George Shearing was a famous jazz pianist. He was born blind. One afternoon, at rush hour, he was waiting at a busy intersection for someone to take him across the street. Another blind man tapped him on the shoulder and asked if Shearing would mind helping him cross the street...")
  • Blind Bart

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Do you recall the words of the folk song, 'How many times must a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.'..." and other illustrations)
  • Healed and Called

    by David Martyn
    "Before there was anything, there was God, a few angels, and a huge swirling glob of rocks and water with no place to go. The angels asked God, 'Why don’t you clean up this mess?' So God collected rocks from the huge swirling glob and put them together in clumps and said, 'Some of these clumps of rocks will be planets, and some will be stars, and some of these rocks will be ... just rocks...."
  • Faith That Cannot Be Silenced

    by Luke O'Donnell
    ("My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen. 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed.' I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room...")
  • Ordinary 30B (2006)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("When I used to work in the bush, we had a lot of people with eye problems. Some of them we could help with eyeglasses. And just occasionally, we had what we called a 'Bartimaeus moment', when you would just put on someone exactly the right pair of glasses and suddenly he would go 'I can see!'...")
  • The Lord Has Done Great Things

    by Michael Phillips
    ("In one of the Peanuts cartoons, Lucy is holding her little portable radio up to one ear. 'Listen,' she says to Charlie Brown. 'Don’t you think some nice music in the morning is a good way to start the day?' Charlie Brown answers, 'I never worry about how I start the day…it’s how it ends that bothers me.'..." and other illustrations)
  • Sight and Seeing

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    ("I knew a girl who would sometimes lose her balance because of a muscle defect in the leg, a result of polio she suffered as a child. One Christmas, her officemates went caroling to raise funds for the operation that would correct the defect. One would think this would have made her happy. In fact, it did not..." and another illustration)
  • What Would Jesus Do?

    by Stephen Portner
    ("Charles Sheldon's novel In His Steps opens with the Rev. Henry Maxwell preparing his sermon about following in Jesus' footsteps. He is interrupted by the doorbell being incessantly rung by a man Maxwell could only describe as a tramp. Rev. Maxwell didn't want to take the time to address this tramp's needs, so he makes an excuse to quickly send him on his way...")
  • He's Just Pitiful

    from Presentation Ministries
    ("Are you sick, hungry, out of a job, without sufficient housing or money, rejected, forgotten, hurting, unloved, or persecuted? Are you 'in tears'? Cry out with Bartimaeus: 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!'...")
  • Spiritual Health and Vulnerability

    by David D. Prince
    ("A colleague of mine in ministry tells of accepting a call to a congregation in a small town. He had the feeling his ministry wasn't making a difference because the people in his church were very resistant to change. He began having coffee or lunch with various people who showed up at the local diner..." and another illustration)
  • Interruptions on the Way

    by Sharon Ringe
    ("There is a powerful book called An Interrupted Life. It was written by a Dutch woman named Etty Hillesum about her experience of incarceration in one of the labor camps of Hitler’s Germany. For her, the life she had known stopped–it was interrupted–and only later was she able to pick it up again...")
  • To See and Not See

    by Oliver Sacks
    ("What happens when an adult who has been blind since childhood suddenly has his vision restored?..." includes several powerful illustrations by a neurologist; recommended!!)
  • An Expectant Church

    by Martin Singley
    Let me introduce you this morning to 'Hank'. Hank is a fellow John Ortberg talks about in his book The Life You've Always Wanted. Hank – not his real name – was a member of a church John served. And in the odd sort of way it sometimes happens with good sermon illustrations, Hank – it seems - has also belonged to all the churches I've ever served...
  • An Expectant Church

    by Martin Singley
    ("Let me introduce you this morning to 'Hank'. Hank is a fellow John Ortberg talks about in his book The Life You've Always Wanted. Hank – not his real name – was a member of a church John served. And in the odd sort of way it sometimes happens with good sermon illustrations, Hank – it seems - has also belonged to all the churches I've ever served...")
  • Joining the Protest

    by Martin Singley
    ("In the blindly confusing world of October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther saw that the focal point of our faith can be none other than the life of Jesus. And nailing those 95-theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church, Martin stepped out away from the manmade traditions of the Church and onto a new and frightening path...")
  • Called Again

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("A friend of mine, Bud Hughes, was telling some of us the other morning about a guy who used to work for him. It seems he sent this guy to Dallas to pick up some parts and supplies. The guy wasn't familiar with Dallas so Bud drew a detailed map on how to get to the place. The guy left around eight that morning. Bud figured the trip would take around three or three and a half hours...")
  • Fast Forward Faith

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("Fred Craddock tells the story of serving in an area where all the local pastors rotated turns as chaplain at the small thirty bed area hospital. During one of his turns, a baby was born. He went to the hospital and encountered a whole family of folks gathered around the window of the nursery looking at the baby...")
  • The Compassionate Heart

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Another picture that I was impressed with years ago was that of an elderly Roman Catholic nun in Spokane Washington. Her name was Sister Lois Marie. She was a well known figure as she walked the streets in the downtown area of Spokane..." and other illustrations)
  • From Bifocals to Trifocals

    by Keith Wagner
    ("A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult...")
  • Perhaps It's Time for a Lens Change

    by Keith Wagner
    ("J. Michael Thomas tells the story about the time he was driving and came upon a busy intersection. He was in a hurry and the light was about to change. About the second he decided to go on through the light he noticed a couple about to step into the busy intersection. They were blind...")
  • When We Can't See Clearly

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Eileen Egan worked closely with Mother Teresa and tells the story about a conversation they had one day. On a day filled with many problems, Mother Teresa said, 'Everything is a problem. Isn’t there another word?' Eileen could not think of one. Then Mother Teresa said, 'Why not use the word gift?' This was a shift in the way she approached life from that day on...")
  • Proper 25B (2006)

    by Suzanne Watson
    Gospel singer and evangelist Clay Evans sings a song entitled “I’m Blessed.” It’s a great piece about God’s goodness and mercy, always present, always here, through all things. In one verse, Evans soulfully sings: “If you want to see a miracle, All you gotta do is just look at me. I've been blessed, I've been kept, by goodness and mercy, Right now, I've got the victory. I'm blessed.” It’s of note that Evans is an African American, born in Tennessee in 1925, who became a leader of the Civil Rights movement. Certainly no small or easy journey..

    and another illustration

Other Resources from 2018 to 2020

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Other Resources from 2015 to 2017

Other Resources from 2012 to 2014

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Other Resources from 2009 to 2011

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Other Resources from 2006 to 2008

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Other Resources from 2003 to 2005

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Other Resources from 2000 to 2002

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources

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The Classics

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Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable