Hebrews 11 defines faith as the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Faith is certainty in the unseen according to John XXIII.
According to St. Bernard, we do not need to search into the dictionaries to know what is faith, our daily lives already reflect faith for a man constantly believes He will live tomorrow.
The certainty to be part of the beginning of the day to the end of the day when we have not seen the end yet is faith”. Faith is without admixture of doubt. Today Jesus points that the secret of healing, miracles and impossibilities is faith in Him. Hence, if we have faith in Jesus, great things can always happen. Faith in Jesus does not disappoint.
The Faith of the Man Who Approaches Jesus.
Today a man approaches Jesus and kneels before Him. His prayer was simply in affirmative “Sir have mercy on my son who is an epileptic….”. We can see in this prayer a certainty that the person He was begging has the power to do so.
Secondly, He kneels before Jesus which is a sign of respect and humility. Hence, He is begging. This shows that He has already believed in the power of Jesus to heal the child before approaching Him. Otherwise, why waste the time to beg.
Sometimes the type of prayer and how we say the prayers show truly if we truly believe in the power of God to do what we ask for. If we have faith, there must be certainty in the prayers we say. We do not say prayers as if God is wicked or deaf.
During prayers, we must not shout, dash our hands and make noise before God hears us. What He needs essentially from us is that strong belief that He can do what we are asking for.
In the bible, there is no single place Jesus praises anyone for shouting on Him but in many passages of the bible, He praises many for their strong faith in Him (Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 15:21-28). If we have faith in Jesus, we can easily win His love.
Simple Prayers Can Be Effective.
The encounter between Jesus and the man shows that simple prayers can be effective. The prayer of this man was simple but highly effective. His prayer was not long. He was not dancing around and speaking in tongues, there was no demonstration, just a simple prayer “ Sir pity my son who is an epileptic and is wretched..”
The prayer of this man today is “Lord have pity”. This little prayer has saved a lot of people. For example, Bartimaeus said this kind of prayer ( Mark 10:46-52), the repentant thief also said this kind of prayer ( Luke 23:43), even the Canaanite woman ( Matthew 15:22) etc.
This indicates that what God wants from us is not necessarily how much we say a lot of words but faith that He is hearing what we are saying.
In Matthew 6:7-8, Jesus says “and when you pray, do not keep on babbling like Pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words, do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him”.
Therefore, what is very essential when we pray, is the magnitude of our faith in Jesus. If we have faith in Jesus, our prayers would be highly effective and powerful.
In Mark 11:24, Jesus says “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Faith is like oil to a lamp. If we have faith, we do not need to stage act or shout before we believe He has heard.
Simple prayers with exceeding faith can be highly effective than long shouting without a little faith to back it up. Tomorrow we will come and blame God. Some will say, we have been praying all this while and yet nothing is happening.
Prayer is not shouting. Prayer is communication with God. The tool to do this is faith. Also before you blame God for not answering your prayers despite your faith, remember that faith is tested in difficulties. You cannot say you have faith until that faith is tried.
So, do not lose hope when your faith is under test. Let us be like the three young men in the midst of the fire in Daniel 3, who says to Nebuchadnezzar, “we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If you throw us into the blazing furnace, we believe that the God we serve can deliver us from it. He will surely deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. Also, even if He does not deliver us, we want you to know Your Majesty, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship that image of gold you set up”.
This is an example of those who have faith. If we have faith in Jesus, we can not worry nor complain. If we have faith in Jesus, we will always believe that He is in charge.
Jesus and His Disciples.
When Jesus notices that the man has already taken his son to His disciples but they couldn’t heal him, Jesus rebukes them and even tags them faithless and evil. A sign that Jesus detests faithlessness. It is also a revelation that faithlessness sometimes leads to evil.
For example, it is due to a lack of faith in God that a person can go diabolical. Sometimes because of a lack of belief in God, many have wandered into many things they would not have done in the first place.
Secondly, why it looks as if we remain where we are and our prayers remain unanswered is not because of the loving God who is always willing to save but faithlessness among His creatures who refuse to trust Him deeply. It is the problem of His children who do not trust in His Love.
It is because of His children who easily give up on Him when things become hard and begin to look for solutions elsewhere.
Thirdly, this continues to affirm that faithlessness can affect our prayers. Remember that it was because of their lack of faith in God that Jesus couldn’t do much in His hometown (Matthew 13:59, Hebrews 3:19).
Always Approach Jesus.
Do you believe with me that If this man does not approach Jesus, definitely there will be no miracle? His miracle started by making the first step to approach Jesus.
If we don’t take a step towards our survival, we will remain where we are. Let us always seek the presence of God.
2. Another group of people in this are the disciples. When they see they couldn’t heal the child, they silently approach Jesus to ask Him the reason. A sign that when things are not working the way we want, let us learn to seek private moments with God, seeking to know what truly went wrong. Therefore, if we have faith in Jesus, we will always approach Him in prayer and seek conversations with Him over our decisions in life. We shall make Him part of our daily activities.
These happen If we have Faith In Jesus.
The situation in the gospel today is a case of demonic possession which the disciples today couldn’t expel. Jesus explains to them that they were not able to expel the demon, due to their lack of faith. Therefore, if we have faith in Jesus and walk in His power, no demon can have any power over us, and hence, we shall fear no evil.
2. Secondly, when His disciples come privately to Him, they ask Him the reason they were unable to cast it out?’ Jesus says it is because of their lack of faith and hence says to them “if your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain move from here to there, and it would move and nothing would be impossible for you”.
He says that if one has Faith, if we have faith in Jesus, we can move mountains and nothing would be impossible to us. Hence, the insurmountable would be surmountable.
According to James Beecher, when Jesus refers to a mountain it is not to be understood literally. Mountains here can be referred to as stumbling blocks, challenges, setbacks etc.
The more the challenges should be the more faith we possess. Challenges bow before a man of strong faith. We need faith to experience healing, freedom from demonic possession, to conquer our challenges and impossibilities.
3.If we have faith in Jesus, we should not fear but be willing to challenge our challenges just like David did in 1 Samuel 17 against Goliath. Then the question is “do we truly have faith? If we have faith, why then do you worry? Why do we become so weak to approach the presence of God? But we are not weak at attending parties?
If we have faith that the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus Christ, what is keeping you from visiting Him for many years and months now?
If we have faith that the Holy Mass is the greatest prayer on earth, why do we become tired and lose concentration when the prayer is going on? Are you sure that You believe it? May God help our faith.
We pray God to bless you dearest and give us the grace to have strong faith in Him. May He be with us today Amen.