18th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord shows a rare case of frustration with his disciples over their inability to help a boy who is being plagued by a demon. Throughout the Gospel Our Lord is preparing his disciples to continue his ministry after his death and resurrection, but on various occasions the disciples don’t seem to be up to the task. These moments in the early Church are a reminder to us of what we can improve on when it seems some challenge we’re facing is insurmountable.

In this case, Our Lord is expecting more faith from the disciples. It’s seen throughout the Gospel that Our Lord can only work miracles based on the faith of those who need them. The disciples’ faith, just like our faith, is how we connect to God, the true source of miracles, insights, and strength. We can never lose sight of the fact that God is active, but he wants to act through us. A seemingly difficult case–a boy plagued with symptoms that are like epilepsy, are chronic and life threatening, but are actually the result of a demon–to Our Lord doesn’t seem like one that requires much faith to overcome. Evil and difficulties often try to appear bigger and nastier than they actually are: with faith Our Lord helps us to put them into perspective. The enormity of God makes other things seem tiny in comparison.

Is Our Lord asking you to move any “mountains” today? A chronic problem? An enduring evil? Ask him to help you grow in faith today in order to face them and surmount them.

Readings: Deuteronomy 6:4–13; Psalm 18:2–4, 47, 51; Matthew 17:14–20.