Saturday of the 18th Week of the Year

Matt 17:14-20

The Healing of a Boy with a Demon

Somebody said about faith like this: “Doubt sees the obstacles, Faith sees the way! Doubt sees the darkest night, Faith sees the day! Doubt dreads to take a step, Faith soars on high! Doubt questions, ‘Who believes?’ Faith answers: ‘I’.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus cures a boy suffering from demon possession. The man relays to Jesus that the disciples were unable to drive the demons from his body. They fail to heal an epileptic boy. That is why Jesus says to His disciples: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…” He said this after he reprimanded His disciples of their little faith in God.

Why it happens this way? The reason could be that the disciples have let their healings go to their heads. They have cut the connection of the healing with God. In other words, they think that they are the ones doing the healing rather than God doing it. They have fallen into the trap of “it’s me!” doing it or pride rather than trusting in the Lord. They fail to recognize the source of power to heal, Jesus Himself.

For us, let us not be glad that we have some special power of healing other people because this power is coming from God. But rather be glad that God loves us and chooses us to show His love for our brothers and sisters through us.

To tell you frankly, to define what faith is all about is not an easy one. Of course, faith involves knowledge about God. It also involves doing God’s will and a commitment to do what is good and right. But Jesus adds another element of faith based in today’s gospel and that is, trust in God. Jesus said to his disciples that they have a faith of understanding or knowledge but they don’t have enough trust (v. 20). In other words this kind of faith includes: prayer and mortification, conscious reliance on God’s power when acting in Jesus’ name or to always connect ourselves to God and that is faith.

In our own lives, how often have we faced situations where we feel that we are confronted with the work of demons through others or through the tasks we do? In these situations, do we doubt that the Lord will come and give us strength, hope and comfort? Perhaps the Lord would like also to remind us today that perhaps these “demons” are presented to us, not because he tests our faith, but because he wants us to develop our trust and faith in Him.

Just like this account I read some years ago (Our Daily Bread, April 8, 1996) that went something like this: A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of flowers. One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.

A curious young boy was watching nearby and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.

The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said: “I’ll be back in a minute.” A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. Approaching the botanist, the boy said, “I’ll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He’s my dad.” This is faith that trusts.

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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