Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1Sir 1:1-10; Gospel Mk 9:14-29
We are all called to be experts in our own spaces of ministry. Be it those who are priests and religious in the area of spirituality or doctors in the area of medicine. But in certain situations we encounter challenges and difficulties where it may seem that our credibility is at stake. Inevitably there will be times when each of us cause disappointment to others. In this Gospel incident the disciples of Jesus brought disappointment to a pleading father because they failed to heal his epileptic son. Jesus’ response seemed stern; but it was really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once both Jesus’ dismay with the disciples’ lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his anguished father. Jesus recognized the weakness of the father’s faith and at the same time challenged him to pray boldly with expectant faith: “All things are possible to him who believes!”
We can also see that the mighty works and signs which Jesus did demonstrate that the kingdom of God is present in him. These signs attest that the Father has sent him as the promised Messiah. They invite belief in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world. The coming of God’s kingdom means defeat of Satan’s kingdom. Jesus’ exorcisms anticipate his great victory over “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). While Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and may cause grave injuries of a spiritual nature, and indirectly even of a physical nature, his power is nonetheless limited and permitted by divine providence (Romans 8:28). Jesus offers freedom from bondage to sin and Satan. There is no affliction he cannot deliver us from.
Lord Jesus, help my unbelief. Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet.