Gospel: Mark 9:14-29*
Jesus asked, “What are you arguing about with them?“ A man answered him from the crowd, “Master, I brought my son to you for he has a dumb spirit. Whenever the spirit seizes him, it throws him down and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes stiff all over. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.”
Jesus replied, “You faithless people. How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him.
As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it shook and convulsed the boy who fell on the ground and began rolling about, foaming at the mouth. Then Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “From childhood. And it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.“ Jesus said to him, “Why do you say: ‘If you can?’ All things are possible for one who believes.“ Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe, but help the little faith I have.”Jesus saw that the crowd was increasing rapidly, so he ordered the evil spirit, “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you: Leave the boy and never enter him again.“ The evil spirit shook and convulsed the boy and with a terrible shriek came out. The boy lay like a corpse and people said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him and the boy stood up. (…)
“All things are possible for one who believes.”
“I do believe, but help the little faith I have.” This line, from the father of a suffering child, is among the most honest and heartfelt prayers recorded in the Gospels. Faith and doubt, conviction and uncertainty are not entirely opposed; often they live side by side in the same heart. Pope Francis has acknowledged this: “In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he has met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties.”
Where there is no faith, nothing is possible; the door remains shut and sealed from the inside. But even a little faith, though it struggles with doubt, opens all kinds of possibilities. So we pray: “I do believe, but help the little faith I have.”
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019