When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”
He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.”
But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Everything is possible to one who has faith,” Jesus reminds us today. Our lives are filled with wonderful possibilities but also real challenges. We know this and live it daily. Luckily, our God has never been distant on mountaintops, removed from us and our real life struggles. He led his chosen people in promise, and Jesus comes down from the mountain of Transfiguration to walk among his people. He reminds them of not only his desire to bring healing but of his power to work that miracle.
Do I muster the courage, like the loving father, to prayerfully take my needs, my hopes, and my struggles to the Lord? Despite my sometimes-weak faith, do I trust his ever-faithful love? Can I trust that love and remain open to the ways in which the miracle of that love will be gifted today? “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
—Fr. Peter J. Klink, SJ, is Vice President for Mission and Identity at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation of southwest South Dakota.
Almighty and ever-loving Lord,
open my eyes to the ways
You are with me today.
Deepen my faith,
invite me to a prayerful attentiveness,
and work the miracles of healing
that I most need in my life.
I make this prayer in humble faith,
now and forever. Amen.
—Fr. Peter J. Klink, SJ