30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, October 28, 2018


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Jeremiah 31:7-9
The Lord declares himself to be the Father of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 126:1-2,2-3,4-5,6
A song of praise to God who does great things

Second Reading
Hebrews 5:1-6
Christ was made high priest by God.

Gospel Reading
Mark 10:46-52
Jesus restores sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today we continue to read from Mark's Gospel. In this Gospel, we find evidence of Jesus' fame in the sizable crowd that accompanies him as he journeys to Jerusalem. Jesus' reputation as a healer has preceded him. When the blind man, Bartimaeus, hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he calls out to him, asking for his pity.

When Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, the crowd around him tries to silence him. Yet Bartimaeus persists, calling out more loudly and with greater urgency. He will not be silenced or deterred from getting Jesus' attention. We notice how quickly the crowd's reaction changes when Jesus calls for Bartimaeus. Those who sought to quiet him now encourage him.

When Jesus restores Bartimaeus's sight, no elaborate action is required. (In other healing stories in Mark's Gospel, actions accompany Jesus' words). In this instance, Jesus simply says that Bartimaeus's faith has saved him. Throughout Mark's Gospel, the success of Jesus' healing power has often been correlated with the faith of the person requesting Jesus' help. For example, it is because of her faith that the woman with the hemorrhage is healed. When faith is absent, Jesus is unable to heal; we see this after his rejection in Nazareth.

Once his sight has been restored, Bartimaeus follows Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. In Mark's Gospel, Bartimaeus is the last disciple called by Jesus before he enters Jerusalem. Bartimaeus hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, but he calls out to Jesus using words of faith—“Son of David.” Many in Jesus' time believed that the anticipated Jewish Messiah would be a descendent of King David. Bartimaeus's words prepare us for the final episodes of Mark's Gospel, which begin with Jesus' preparation for the Passover and his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As Mark has shown us in our readings over the past few Sundays, however, Jesus will be the Messiah in a way that will be difficult for many to accept. Jesus will show himself to be the Messiah through his suffering and death.


Gospel Reading
Mark 10:46-52
Jesus restores sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Young children take comfort in routine and consistency. We can teach them to depend on Jesus' love for them because this will never change.

Materials Needed

  • A box
  • Three different objects, such as an apple, a toy car, and a hairbrush

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Before class, place three different objects, such as an apple, a toy car, and a hairbrush, in a box. Do not show the contents of the box to the children. Divide the class into two groups. Instruct group one to turn around so they can't see what you're doing. Have a volunteer from group two choose an item from the box and show it to the other members of the group. Tell group two not to say anything from this point on. Then have group one turn around and ask questions to figure out what the item is. Answer truthfully until the children guess correctly.

  2. Switch the roles for the two groups. This time do not tell the truth when answering their questions. Remind group one not to say anything during this time. After a couple of guesses, ask group one why they think group two is having a difficult time identifying the object. When the children say that it's because you're lying, ask them to tell group two what the object is.

  3. Reverse the roles of the two groups one more time, but this time vary between truth and deception. Ask the members of both groups whether they believe you.

  4. Say: It's hard to believe people when they keep changing what they tell us. Jesus never changes. The stories in the Bible show us that he is always great. He can do anything. He wants us to know the stories about him and his miracles so that we will believe he is God. The Gospel this week tells about one of the miracles Jesus performed.

  5. Read today's Gospel, Mark 10:46-52.

  6. Ask: What did Jesus do for Bartimaeus? (He gave him his sight.) What do you think made Bartimaeus think that Jesus could give him his sight? (He had heard about the amazing things Jesus was doing for others.)

  7. Say: When Bartimaeus heard about all the wonderful things Jesus was doing, he believed that Jesus was God and could heal him. If God can make blind people see, do you think there's anything he cannot do?

  8. Conclude in prayer thanking God for the stories in the Bible that help us have faith by telling of God's greatness. Pray together the Lord's Prayer.


Gospel Reading
Mark 10:46-52
Jesus restores sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Children can be very persistent in making their requests known to family members. We can help them see that the same kind of persistence is needed in our prayer.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask: What have you asked your parents to do for you this week? (to buy a particular food at the grocery store, to help you with your homework, for permission to go to a friend's house, and so on) If their first answer to you was no, did you ask again? Why or why not? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Sometimes we ask again, even when the answer is no. Why? (because asking works, because we know that our parents care about us and want to make us happy, and so on)

  2. Say: We can be very persistent with our parents, especially when we want something from them. We do this because we know how much our parents love us and they want us to be happy. In today's Gospel, we hear how a blind man's persistence in asking Jesus for help was rewarded.

  3. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Mark 10:46-52.

  4. Ask: What does Bartimaeus do when he hears that Jesus was passing by? (He calls out, asking Jesus to have pity on him.) Why must he be persistent in calling out to Jesus? (Some people in the crowd are telling him to be quiet.) What does Bartimaeus do? (He calls out to Jesus all the more.) When Jesus stops and calls for him, what does Jesus do and say? (He restores Bartimaeus's sight; Jesus tells Bartimaeus that his faith has saved him.)

  5. Say: Bartimaeus continues to call out to Jesus because he believes that Jesus will heal him. Jesus' words to Bartimaeus tell us that our persistence in prayer is a sign of our faith that God wants to save us.

  6. Ask: What do you think this might teach us about prayer? (We should be persistent in our prayer, continuing to bring our needs to God; we should pray with confidence, trusting that God wants to help us.)

  7. Conclude by praying together prayers of petition. Invite each person to present a prayer aloud; all respond, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” Conclude with the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Mark 10:46-52
Jesus restores sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people have learned the value of persistence when making their requests known to their families. We can help them see that the same kind of persistence is needed in our prayer to God.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask: What is something you might ask your parents to do for you? (to drive you to a dance or sporting event, permission to meet your friends, and so on) When you want your parents to help you in these ways, how many times do you ask? (Accept all reasonable answers.) If the first answer is no, do you ask again? Why or why not? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Why do we keep asking? (because asking works, because we know that our parents care about us and want to make us happy, and so on)

  2. Say: We can be very persistent with our parents, especially when we want them to do something for us. We continue to ask because we know how much our parents love us and they want us to be happy. In today's Gospel, we hear how a blind man's persistence in asking Jesus for help was rewarded.

  3. Invite one or more volunteers to read today's Gospel, Mark 10:46-52.

  4. Ask: What does Bartimaeus do when he hears that Jesus was passing by? (He calls out, asking Jesus to have pity on him.) Why must he be persistent in calling out to Jesus? (Some people in the crowd are telling him to be quiet.) What does Bartimaeus do? (He calls out to Jesus all the more.) When Jesus stops and calls for him, what does Jesus do and say? (He restores Bartimaeus's sight; Jesus tells Bartimaeus that his faith has saved him.)

  5. Say: Bartimaeus continues to call out to Jesus because he believes that Jesus will heal him. Jesus' words to Bartimaeus tell us that our persistence in prayer is a sign of our faith that God wants to save us.

  6. Ask: What do you think this might teach us about prayer? (We should be persistent in our prayer, continuing to bring our needs to God; we should pray with confidence, trusting that God wants to help us.)

  7. Conclude by praying together prayers of petition. Invite each person to present a prayer aloud; all respond, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” Conclude with the Glory Be to the Father.


Gospel Reading
Mark 10:46-52
Jesus restores sight to the blind man, Bartimaeus


Family Connection

Today's Gospel offers us a powerful example of faith and persistence in prayer. Those around him rebuked Bartimaeus for his efforts to attract Jesus' attention. When silenced by the crowd, however, Bartimaeus called out all the more. He is persistent and bold in his confidence that Jesus will show mercy on him and do what he asks. His persistence and great confidence that Jesus would help him reminds us of the confidence with which our children bring to us their needs. In their faith and trust we can find an example of the attitude with which we might approach God in prayer.

As a family, recall a request that has been made repeatedly by one family member to another. Talk about why the request continues to be made if the answer continues to be no. Then read together today's Gospel, Mark 10:46-52. After reading the Gospel, pose questions such as these to your family: Why must Bartimaeus be persistent in calling out to Jesus? (Some people in the crowd are telling him to be quiet.) What does Bartimaeus do when some try to stop him? (He calls out to Jesus all the more.) When Jesus stops and calls for him, what does Jesus do and say? (He restores Bartimaeus's sight; Jesus tells Bartimaeus his faith has saved him.) When we pray, God wants us to be so confident he will help us that we don't permit anyone to keep us from bringing our needs to God in prayer. Invite family members to identify the things they need most from God. Pray these prayers of petition together as a family, confident that God will hear and answer your prayers. Respond to each petition, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on us.” Conclude by praying the Glory Be to the Father.